AU defense on FSU’s Winston: “pressure makes any quarterback average”

Defending the Tigers

PASADENA, CA (WTVM) - It's now three days and counting to the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, Ca. The Auburn Tigers continue to prepare for their national championship showdown with top-ranked Florida State.

Heisman trophy winner and FSU quarterback Jameis Winston has put up scary numbers all season long. The redshirt freshman is the unquestioned leader of the Seminoles and the focus of the Auburn defense.

The Tiger front four will carry the brunt of the responsibility on game day, and they know exactly what they have to do.

"I think pressure makes any quarterback average," said defensive end Dee Ford. "We definitely want to put pressure on this quarterback, really affect his decisions, and that's what we're working to do."

"It's all about affecting the quarterback," said defensive tackle Nosa Eguae. "Up front, that's our job is to go out there and make it hard for him, and we're going to go out there and do that to the best of our ability. We've been working; Coach Garner has been working us day in, day out, focusing on the little things, focusing on the technique. We know that's our job, and we're going to go out there and get it done."

It'll be a tall order, but the Tigers have done some pretty amazing things all season long.

Former Carver High School tiger Gabe Wright and the rest of the Auburn Tiger crew were at UC Irvine this afternoon for their third west coast practice.

The Tigers' offense was the focus yesterday, and today the defense took center stage.

The Tiger defense has been taking a hard rap from a lot of people since their numbers aren't quite as good as they'd like. But the one thing they've been able to do all season long is come through in the clutch, down the stretch when it really counts: the fourth quarter.

"You know, we hang our hat on just trying to play good defense in the fourth quarter," said Eguae. "Our deal is going out there and executing when the game is on the line, making big time plays."

"These guys have gone through three different systems in three different years," said Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. "We've been inconsistent at times. You need to put that on me. But we always know how to play in the moment. When there's a play on the line, we've been good on 3rd down, we've been good in the red zone, we've been good in the fourth quarter. We've made critical stops at critical times, and I think that's a credit to our players."

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