HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – Auburn is looking to bounce back after a season of disappointments in 2015. While a lot of focus has been on the offense, a staple under Coach Gus Malzahn, the defense will play a huge factor in the Tigers’ attempts to rebound this season.
Coach Malzahn is hoping to build off what he saw late in the season last year, “Defensively, we do have a lot of experience back, which I think is very important, we played well in the second half of the season.”
For the Auburn defense to shine it will need strong seasons from players like Montravius Adams, a senior defensive lineman. “I need to be more of a dominating specimen, more tenacious this year,” says Adams.
He says Coach Malzahn wants the team to have the mindset of one day at a time, “Get better at practice…try to do better at the game, and try to win as many games as we can.”
Another anchor on the Auburn defense is Carl Lawson, who Adams says he learns a lot from, and vice versa, “Me and Carl have known each other since 11th grade. We played in the junior bowl together and we were roommates then. We stayed right beside each other – that just made us be closer as players. That’s why we’re always together. We learn from each other.”
Just like Adams, Lawson chose to stay at Auburn for another year, “It was a decision that I had to make with my family,” says Lawson. “What was best for me was to come back to Auburn, finish my degree, become a better athlete, become a better football player.”
Mirroring the purpose of his team, Lawson is looking to have his own bounce back season after battling injury most of last year, “In life you have adversity, and every time I’ve had adversity in my life I’ve come back stronger. I didn’t like what happened, but I appreciated what happened because it made me a better player. Made me view things from a different perspective. Every experience, a bad experience or a good experience, is a learning experience. Last year I wasn’t 100% probably, about 60% coming back from the hip injury. Coming off the Birmingham Bowl and having time to rest and going through this off season I feel like I’m faster and stronger.”
The Auburn Tigers open this season at home against the presumptive #1 team in the country, the Clemson Tigers.