As Texas A&M gets ready to host Auburn on Saturday, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin wasn’t buying the idea that Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson will enter the game with rust or poor fitness.
“We know what he’s capable of,” Sumlin said during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference. “He’s an elite player in this league as a pass rusher and we need to account for him. He’s a difference-maker for them — as Myles Garrett is for us.”
Lawson will play his second game since returning from the hip injury that he sustained in the season opener against Louisville. The junior defensive end recorded just one tackle in last Saturday’s 27-19 loss to Ole Miss.
Sumlin said a player of Lawson’s caliber could be the difference-maker on Saturday, and he will game plan against the Auburn defensive end accordingly.
“The guy can change the game through a pass rush (standpoint),” Sumlin said. “When you have an elite pass rusher, it changes third down. He can win most one-on-one matchups, and that will free up some other people … It’s kind of like what happens with us when we have Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall.”
Sumlin added that one of the biggest keys in Saturday’s game is to stay out of third-and-long situations. He also said he’s excited to see how Aggies quarterback Kyler Murray will fare against the Auburn defense.
“This week will be exciting,” Sumlin said. “(Auburn defensive coordinator) Will Muschamp does a great job with schemes, and getting Lawson back is huge for them.”