Auburn defense's shutout gets overshadowed

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Say, did anyone notice that 9th ranked Auburn's defense pitched a shutout?

That performance against Louisiana-Monroe was overshadowed by the offense's lack of a passing game, but first-year defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads said the 34-0 win gave his players something to celebrate.

He found plenty to like about the performance, from the players' hustle to being able to let freshman cornerbacks D'Antoine Hood and Neiko Thorpe play the whole second half.

What Rhoads didn't like: Eight missed tackles.

Thorpe, who also played in the first half when the Tigers had extra defensive backs on the field, led the team with seven tackles and also broke up two passes.

Hood had three tackles.

The Tigers had six first-time starters - three on defense - and 19 players see their first college action.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)