Dyer and Defense Carries the Load for Auburn; the Hogs a Different Challenge

Michael AbbottContributor IIIOctober 4, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 01:  Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks is tackled by the Auburn Tigers defense during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Auburn defense showed Saturday what it is capable of. The front four played with an energy that had been missing thus far this season.

Lattimore, the best running back in the country some say but I'm not so sure, had nowhere to run. He couldn't get to the line of scrimmage without having to dodge or try to break the grasp of Auburn defenders.

Tackling was much improved. Playing the Tampa two defense, tackling is a must for it to be effective and the Tigers showed that the extra work Chizik and company has put into that area is starting to pay off.

When the receivers caught underneath passes, the defensive backs were quick to the ball and didn't allow any yards after catch. Last season, Jefferies had a big night in a loss to the Tigers and the fear was it could happen again, but the secondary (and take your hat off to T'Sharvan Bell) played well.

The offense for the most part was well, offensive. Trotter was off all night and didn't even try to get the ball down the field. Maybe Malzahn did this by plan, but Auburn needs to stretch the defense to keep them from loading up on Dyer.

Dyer had a night that Coach Dye would be proud of. He was a work horse and I dare say carried the Tigers for the most part. He had an old school three yards and a cloud of dust evening against a defense that really wasn't respecting the pass.

Watching Frazier makes any Auburn fan feel real good about what the future holds. When you put a guy in and everyone in the stadium knows he's getting the ball and he gets the yards needed to move the chains, that's very impressive.

Frazier showed flashes of former quarterback Cam Newton with his runs. I suspect we can see him pass more in coming games as his role expands.

Trotter is a junior but I have to wonder if Frazier keeps improving if he will be able to take the starting job in the spring for next season. It'll be hard to keep him off the field and with the offense Malzahn runs. A quarterback that can run and pass makes it very had to defend.

The Hogs passing attack will be something very different than what the Tigers have seen thus far. If Auburn can bend and not break as well as get pressure on the Arkansas quarterback, Wilson, Auburn has a good chance to beat the Hogs.

The best defender Auburn may have in the game could be Dyer. If Dyer can carry that load and keep the Hogs on the sideline it will take pressure off the secondary. If Auburn does come out with a victory Saturday a lot of football experts will be scratching their heads trying to figure out what Auburn fans already know, Auburn doesn't quit.