GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When the final whistle sounded in Gainesville Saturday, there was no doubt that the Auburn defense left it all out on the field.
In front of a hostile crowd of 90,584, Auburn's defense forced Florida to turn it over four times. The four turnovers are a season-high for the Tigers, one area where Auburn's defense has struggled this season.
Heading into the top-10 matchup, Auburn had just one interception and one fumble recovery on the season.
The four turnovers, all of which were fumbles by the Gators, were not enough to complete the comeback as No. 7 Auburn fell to No. 10 Florida by a score of 24-13 on Saturday.
Linebacker K.J. Britt established that Auburn’s defense had come to play in the first quarter when he forced two fumbles, one of which was picked up by Derrick Brown and the other recovered by Tryone Truesdell.
Britt was not the only Tiger defensively to set the tone in the first quarter. Christian Tutt forced a fumble in the first to bring Auburn’s total to three takeaways in the first quarter.
Derrick Brown accounted for the final of Auburn’s four turnovers with a strip-sack in the fourth quarter. He scooped up another fumble in the first quarter following Britt’s strip-sack. The first quarter fumble recovery saw Brown run for 42 yards before falling on the turf when his feet got tripped up.
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Even with the Tigers losing, Brown received praise from head coach Gus Malzahn on his big defensive day.
“Derrick Brown is one of the best players in college football,” Malzahn said. “He played his heart out and had the two pick-up fumbles and he carried it a long way on that one. He’s an impact player in big games. He got it done today.”
Florida fumbled three times in the first quarter all of which the Tigers recovered. The offense was only able to muster up six points on the three takeaways by the defense and was unable to capitalize on the final fumble recovery in the fourth.
Brown knows that the Tigers have to work to do after the loss and is ready to use the bye week to get better.
“Guys are lifting each other,” Brown said. “We’re still in full control of our destiny and everything we want to do. At the end of the day, it’s just a loss, it’s not one you want to take, but you have to look at it from the whole aspect of everything.”
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