Auburn's impressive run defense could be peaking at just the right time

The Tigers are consistently handing their opponents some of their worst days on the ground. That'll be a key to their best chance at an A&M upset.

LB Chandler Wooten (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)

Much like their counterparts on offense, Auburn’s defensive players and coaches have grown alongside one another in the first two-thirds of the 2021 season.

This has been evident in the passing game, where the Tigers have learned and improved in how to properly play more off-man and zone coverages — instrumental to the preferred “be ready for anything” scheme of defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

And while so much has changed for how Auburn lines up and plays up front, one attribute from the more straightforward style of the Kevin Steele era has remained.

Auburn can really make life difficult for an opponent on the ground.

That was reinforced Monday, when the SEC named Tigers linebacker Zakoby McClain the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Colby Wooden the Defensive Lineman of the Week.

McClain had one of the best games of his incredibly productive Auburn career in last Saturday’s 31-20 win over Ole Miss. He had 14 tackles — and …

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