Auburn, Ala.—Heading into the week four showdown against LSU last Saturday night, one of the biggest question marks for the Auburn Tigers was the play of the defensive line as a group. Not living up to the hype the first three weeks, Auburn's front four held its own against one of the most physical offenses in the country.
One of the keys to that performance was an increase in production from the defensive tackle position. Getting up the field and disrupting plays, sophomore Angelo Blackson said it was all about making plays.
"Oh yeah, we definitely took a step forward as a defensive line," Blackson said. "We were coming off the ball, we were playing in our gaps and trying to make plays for the defense.
"We worked hard at practice taking on the double teams and coming off the ball, shooting our hands," he added. "It really carried over into the game."
Fired up to play LSU after fullback J.C. Copeland accused them of being soft, Blackson said the Tigers had a point to prove and while they didn't get the win, they took a step forward as a group.
"They said some things last year about us," Blackson said. "So we were very motivated to come out and try to take it to them. We did a good job of stopping them, and it was a physical game, but we fell short."
With a few days off to rest and get well before hitting the practice field again on Wednesday, Blackson said the goal for the defensive line is to continue to grow and mature as players and also as a group.
"We're just going to keep working," Blackson said. "We've got to play our double teams better, pass-rush a little better, and continue to make plays on the inside."