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AUBURN, AL - March 16, 2024 - AU logo footballs during spring practice at the Woltosz Football Performance Center in Auburn, AL.

Photo by Austin Perryman
AUBURN, AL - March 16, 2024 - AU logo footballs during spring practice at the Woltosz Football Performance Center in Auburn, AL. Photo by Austin Perryman

Auburn's defense loses in exciting fashion to conclude spring practice

Auburn, Ala—The Auburn Tigers spring football season ended excitingly. The final score was 28-27 with the offense beating the defense due to a clutch 58-yard field goal from Town McGough to close the game. 

Entering the 2025 football season, most people were looking forward to the offense, especially the new wide receiver class featuring Cam Coleman, but there were concerns about the defense especially with much of the back line graduating this year. 

“It was good for our defense to play really well,” Head Coach Hugh Freeze said, “I thought they stopped the run extremely well.”

The defense had 55 total tackles, 47 of which were solo tackles and 12 of which were tackles for loss, four sacks, and twelve break-up passes. They also forced the offense to take seven field goals and only gave up one touchdown. 

“I feel like we played excellent defense in the first three quarters, and then we gave up some plays in the last quarter that we probably want back,” defensive back Jerrin Thomson said, “I feel like we played overall pretty good.” 

Freeze also agreed with the sentiment and said, “I felt like the defense won the line of scrimmage and so that’s very positive. I like the guys and the effort that they are giving.” 

Even though the defense lost overall, their ability to force the offense to kick field goals, especially when the offense reached the red zone, can only be seen as positive. 

There could have been more than one touchdown in the game, but because the defense never backed down and was able to hold the line, the offense struggled in the run game, and in making plays in the defense’s territory. 

The defense still has things to work on and improve upon, but overall, today they played like a cohesive unit integrating the transfers, freshmen, and returning players seamlessly. 

Auburn has also taken a new approach to their defense and become much more aggressive when going after the ball and after the tackles which comes from the new defensive coordinator DJ Durkin. 

Outside linebacker Jalen McLeod said “It’s a lot of fun because there can be a lot of energy. We just build off his energy and makes us energized every day. He wants everything aggressive, and we like being aggressive.”

Durkin’s influence on how the defense played today, and what it will be like come the fall shows that this Auburn defense is a force to be reckoned with and should not be overlooked despite losing many of the key players from last year. 

Auburn’s aggressive nature on defense today, explains why Hugh Freeze said, “They probably deserved the win the day, but it was good to see it come down to a pressure kick like that and make us execute.” 

The defense did everything that they could to win the game, and even though they lost the game overall they played a great game, and come the fall people should be optimistic and excited when the Auburn Tiger’s defense takes the field. 

Auburn still has 147 days until the first football game of the season, which gives the entire team 147 days to improve so that they are ready to play once the 2024 football season starts.

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