Another week, another slashing of the Auburn secondary. ULM quarterback Kolton Browning completed 28 of his 46 pass attempts on Saturday. Three of those completions were for touchdowns.
Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder has said that Auburn isn't built to play man-to-man press coverage (subscription required). That's understandable, but lack of simple coverage techniques is not. Secondary coach Willie Martinez needs to get his group fixed in a hurry.
You don't have to be Vince Lombardi to coach a player to turn around and find the ball when it is in the air in coverage. Not doing this earned the Auburn secondary a couple of pass interference penalties on Saturday.
When a receiver is streaking down the sideline on his pattern, the defensive back in man coverage is supposed to widen and force the receiver towards the sideline. Kolton Browning connected with ULM receiver Tavarese Maye on a 32-yard pass down the sideline on 3rd-and-9 when T'Sharvan Bell failed to do this.
These are just a couple of examples from yesterday where Willie Martinez' unit showed their inadequacies.
The Auburn secondary is not tough. They play soft in their coverage and they invite opposing quarterbacks to take chunks of yards as they wish.
Willie Martinez, if nothing else, needs to get his group to do the little things in pass coverage. If not, these gaudy passing numbers that opposing quarterbacks are putting up will continue.