Focus, discipline will be key for Auburn to create more turnovers

·2 min read

Auburn did many things well in last Saturday’s 42-16 win over Mercer.

On offense, Auburn racked up 497 total yards, had two quarterbacks reach the 100-yard passing mark, and running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter combined to score five rushing touchdowns. Defensively, Auburn held Mercer to 271 total yards, and linebacker Cam Riley had a breakout game by recording 15 tackles.

Bryan Harsin was pleased with his team’s overall effort last Saturday, but, as many coaches are, was not completely satisfied with every aspect of the game — specifically his team’s lack of creating turnovers in the game and leaving receivers open.

“If that ball is in the air, just speaking from an offensive coordinator standpoint, if they’re going to put the ball in the air, we should have a chance to go compete for the ball,” Harsin said during Monday’s press conference.  “That’s what I think you do at the back end when you have a good football team.”

Harsin went on to say that he has set a high standard for his secondary, but believes that his unit is good enough to make a play on the ball if given the opportunity.

Out of Mercer quarterback Fred Payton’s 36 attempted passes last Saturday, Auburn was only able to get a hand on five of them. What does the Auburn secondary need to do in order to disrupt their opponent’s passing game? Safety Zion Puckett says that focus is key.

“To get more turnovers, I believe that we need to read more of our keys, be more disciplined with our eyes, and basically focus on everything that we have to do each play,” Puckett said Monday afternoon. 

This week’s opponent, San Jose State, found success throwing the football in their season-opening win over Portland State last Saturday. Spartan quarterback Chevan Cordeiro threw for 239 yards and a touchdown.

Puckett says that with proper focus and discipline, Auburn’s secondary should improve in limiting San Jose State’s air attack.

“They are a pretty good team I feel like,” Puckett said. “We have to respect the run game and the pass game, but as long as we know our keys and do what we do and do the right techniques, I think that we will be pretty good.”

Auburn meets San Jose State for the third time in history on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPNU.

List

Auburn falls in latest ESPN Football Power Index rankings

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire