September 29, 2006

Muschamp reviews Auburn defense

No defensive coordinator wants to give up 24 first downs and 349 total yards. But Auburn came out of South Carolina with a hard-fought 24-17 win Thursday night and the defense came up with enough big plays to keep AU undefeated.

"You go on the road, give up 17 points and win a football game," said defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. "I'm pleased with the effort and the way the kids competed and played in the game."

But don't think Muschamp was pleased with all the results. USC was able to convert 6-of-13 on third down and was successful on 3-of-4 fourth downs. Gamecock quarterback Syvelle Newton gave the Tiger defense fits, throwing for 240 yards and two touchdowns and scrambling for six first downs.

Newton engineered drives of 10, 15 (interrupted by two fumbles on the same play which changed possession twice), nine, 15 and 18 plays. The USC offense went three-and-out just one time, the opening series of the game.

"The kid (Newton) made a lot of plays," said Muschamp. "He scrambled and we lost contain on him several times. He hit a couple of balls downfield on us.

"We've got to get better on third down. That was disappointing."

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