A closer look at Auburn's revamped pass rush and how it can build on its Week 1 success

Led by a versatile T.D. Moultry, the Tigers swarmed an overmatched opponent in Week 1. The challenge now is to keep improving in time for that big trip to Happy Valley.

DE Zykevious Walker and EDGE T.D. Moultry (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)

Six months ago, Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason said he was “like a kid in a candy shop” when it came to the pass rushers he had inherited on the Plains.

Last Saturday, he might have needed to get checked for cavities.

In a highly favorable matchup against an Akron offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks per game in FBS last season, Auburn recorded six sacks in a 60-10 rout of Akron.

Sure, the Tigers gave up some easy passing yards in the second half. There were some missed tackles, too. But a defense that had a hard time getting a consistent pass rush and making third-down stops during the 2020 season put down an impressive Week 1 marker in both categories.

Akron converted two third-and-shorts on its first drive and moved the chains on the money down just one more time all game — early in the fourth quarter, when the vast majority of the first-team defense was off the field.

“I think it’s a grea…

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