Well, another "Iron Bowl" has been played and Auburn came out on the losing end for the 3rd straight year. I am just as disappointed with the outcome of this game as the rest of the Auburn fan base. Of course, I am in Birmingham these days caring for my mother so this loss stings a little more than usual since Tuscaloosa is about an hour down the road and I tend to see a lot of Crimson in this town. The record for this rivalry now stands at 46 wins for Alabama, 35 wins for Auburn and 1 tie. I think that most of us will agree that the Auburn defense played well enough to win this game; however, they were just worn down by being on the field too long due to the anemic offensive effort. It is difficult to win a football game if your opponent keeps the ball for over 40 minutes.
Auburn is now waiting to hear where they will go bowling and it could be raining "sugar". Auburn will know their destination after the SEC Championship game next weekend. Auburn could be playing Oklahoma and we will finally get that game that should have happened in 2004.
I wanted to look at the future of the Auburn defense. Auburn is currently ranked number 21 in total defense in the NCAA. Auburn will be losing the following defensive players:
1) Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson, Maurice Swain and Lawrence Devaroe on the defensive line.
2) Josh Holsey and Johnathan Ford will be leaving the defensive backfield.
3) T. J. Neal will be the only linebacker that is leaving.
Auburn will return another solid defensive unit next season. I am going to assume that the junior players will remain at Auburn 1 more year.
1) The defensive line will have Marlon Davidson, Dontavious Russell, Derrick Brown, Andrew Williams, and Jeff Holland.
2) The linebackers will be Darrell Williams, Richard McBryde, Deshaun Davis, Tre Williams and Montavious Atkinson.
3) The returning defensive backfield will be Javaris Davis, Stephen Roberts, Tray Matthews, Carlton Davis, Nick Ruffin, Markell Boston, and Daniel Thomas.
The "hard" 2017 defensive commits for Auburn are: Tadarian Moultry (ILB), Kenney Britt (ILB), Carlitos Gonzalez (S) and Jordyn Peters (S).
I will just have to hope for some offensive improvement next season to support this defensive unit.