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Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes
The Auburn defense has been a roller coaster ride. They won the Mississippi State game on the road, while the offense didn't score a single point in the second half. Then, they gave up a ton of points early in the Clemson and South Carolina games.
But they've only allowed 13 points in the fourth quarter/OT all season.
The defensive line has been the strength so far. Nick Fairley has emerged as a SEC Defensive Player of the Year candidate, while Mike Blanc and Zach Clayton have also played well inside. Antoine Carter, Nosa Eguae and Michael Goggans have played well at defensive end. Opposing quarterbacks have felt nearly constant pressure all season.
Josh Bynes, Craig Stevens and Daren Bates have been solid at linebacker. The front seven has done a great job limiting opponents' run games. They have held their opponents to less than 100 yards per game on the ground. Ted Roof's emphasis all season has been on stopping the run. But...
The pass defense has to continue to improve. There have been good signs at times, like holding Mississippi State's Chad Bumphis at bay. However, Alshon Jeffrey came in and torched AU's defense, and Kentucky's Randall Cobb did the same thing. Needless to say, the secondary will get a huge test this week with Ryan Mallett coming to town.
There's still a ton to work on, but Auburn's defense has been good when they've needed to be. They're slightly above average, so I'll give them a C+.