ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit praises defensive coordinator Derek Mason, Auburn football defense
The Auburn football team's defensive success this season under Mason caught the attention of ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who discussed the Tigers and Mason during "The ESPN College Football Podcast" on Monday.
Prior to Vanderbilt, Mason served as the Stanford defensive coordinator from 2011-13.
Through the first eight games of this season, the Auburn defense is allowing 19.75 points per game. Auburn ranks fourth nationally in fourth-down defense percentage, 23.53%, by allowing conversions on 4-of-17 fourth downs this season.
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit praises Derek Mason, Auburn football defense
Herbstreit and ESPN broadcaster Matt Barrie started discussing Auburn during Monday's podcast about how the Tigers turned their season around after a loss to Penn State on Sept. 18 and a near loss to Georgia State on Sept. 25. The pair credited by name Mason, head coach Bryan Harsin and quarterback Bo Nix.
"Derek Mason, the former Vandy coach, is doing a really good job with that defense," Herbstreit said. "They're flying around and buying into that system."
Auburn, ranked No. 14 in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, returns to action Saturday at No. 12 Texas A&M.
"That's the biggest game that we have this week, so I can't wait to see it," Herbstreit said.
Auburn is 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the SEC. Only Alabama, at 4-1 in the SEC, is ahead of Auburn in the SEC West Division Standings.
"Auburn is a great story and, hopefully, they can keep it going," Herbstreit said. "And I hope (Auburn quarterback) Bo Nix ... can keep being consistent with his decision making. He's really grown as a quarterback. It's been awesome."
Here's more Auburn football news:
- Kirk Herbstreit:ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit foresees Auburn exposing Alabama football's defense in Iron Bowl
- Derek Mason:Auburn defensive coordinator Derek Mason announces recent COVID-19 case
- Auburn football:A visit with a friend at Auburn changed Derek Mason's NFL plans
- Derek Mason:The key to Auburn football's last two wins? Derek Mason's in-game adjustments on defense
Penn State defeated Auburn 28-20 on Sept. 18 in University Park, Pennsylvania. On Sept. 25, Auburn beat Georgia State 34-24 after trailing most of the game until two touchdowns in the final 45 seconds.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.