AUBURN, Ala. — For the second straight week, Kevin Steele’s Auburn defense came out of the locker room in the second half and locked down its opponent. On Saturday, it was enough for Auburn to pick up a close home win.
Steele’s defense held Vanderbilt to 3 points and 135 yards after halftime in a 23-16 victory on Saturday. Auburn improved to 7-2 on the season without several key defensive players — including sophomore linebacker Deshaun Davis, who was ejected in the first quarter for targeting.
The Auburn defensive coordinator is set to speak to the media Sunday evening after the Tigers’ practice. He will review the Vanderbilt game tape and preview what’s ahead against rival Georgia.
Keep it right here for live updates from SEC Country:
- “There were a lot of good things that took place. There were a lot of moving parts out there that weren’t on the scouting report. Some things were totally different than what they’ve done.”
- Steele said Auburn “had to get (the linebackers) settled down” after the ejection of Deshaun Davis.
- “I thought we tackled well.”
- Vanderbilt only averaged 5 yards per passing play. “We’re doing a good job of keeping the top on the coverage.” The longest play was the 4th down pass “that should’ve been an interception or, at worst, a pass batted down.”
- On sophomore linebacker Darrell Williams: “I saw his plate full. He played SAM, Money and Mike backer, and he played some nickel. That was a full plate. He grew up. For a sophomore that was in his ninth game playing, he did some good things.”
- On Deshaun Davis’ ejection: “You have to keep your eyes up … I’ll let someone with a higher pay grade who can take a higher fine handle that.”
- Steele said “we’ve got to coach better and play better technique” on critical third-down conversions.
- Steele on Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who was a graduate assistant under him at Florida State: “He’s the total package. He understands football at a high level.”
- Freshman defensive end Marlon Davidson “was limited in his reps,” which forced Derrick Brown to play some at defensive end Saturday.
- Steele on Georgia’s offense: “They’ve got a quarterback who can throw it from here to LaGrange. They have two running backs that are like ‘thunder and lightning.’ … They go to that young tight end often. They did that a lot last night in the two-minute (against Kentucky).”
- Steele on safety Tray Matthews playing his former team this week: “It makes for good reading during the week. Something to talk to your family about… but I don’t think it’ll affect him. It doesn’t matter when the ball is snapped.”
- On defensive tackle Maurice Swain: “He’s told me eight times today about that pass breakup he had. But there’s a fraternity on that defensive line. They love to compete with each other for reps. They love to compete.”
- On Georgia running back Nick Chubb: “He’s got that ability to run through tackles. He can bounce off and go the distance. He’s the complete package.”