August 29, 2007

Auburn's freshmen linemen face early test

Kansas State led the Big 12 last year with 39 sacks.

Under new defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar, the Wildcats are expected to be even more aggressive employing multiple fronts and coming at the quarterback from all angles.

They'll be led by preseason All-American outside linebacker Ian Campbell who racked up an impressive 17.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks a year ago.

"He's a hard-nosed player that plays hard every snap, has great speed off the edge and has great pass moves," said AU offensive line coach Hugh Nall. "I think his biggest asset is his get-off. He's got a real quick get-off and good speed."

The KSU defensive front is a matchup problem for any opponent. That's especially true for Auburn's offensive line, which will start an inexperienced right side that includes redshirt freshman guard Mike Berry and true freshman tackle Lee Ziemba.

"I respect their line a lot," said Berry. "I know they're going to be gunning for us because we're so young. We're prepared for that."

If Berry and Ziemba are nervous going into AU's opening game against the Wildcats Saturday night, they're not showing it. Perhaps going up against a pretty salty AU d-line in practice every day has them well prepared.

Ziemba certainly got a quick indoctrination into big-time college football going up against AU All-American d-end Quentin Groves every day. He expects Campbell to test him early.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!