The Auburn defensive front was exposed throughout the first half in the Tigers’ season-opening win against Arkansas.

The Tigers gave up 175 yards through the air and sacked Razorback quarterback Brandon Allen just once. They had trouble getting pressure on Allen, who led Arkansas to 21 first half points.

In recent years, even going back to the 2010 national championship team, Auburn has had a quality pass rush featuring a hellacious defensive end or tackle to offset the vulnerabilities in the back end. In 2010, it was Nick Fairley who terrorized opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks. Last season, it was led by Dee Ford who registered 14.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks and Carl Lawson who added 7.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman.

So with Ford gone and Lawson recovering from an ACL injury, where does the pass rush come from for the Tigers?

All eight Tiger defensive linemen saw the field on Saturday. Montravius Adams, Jeffrey Whitaker, Ben Bradley, Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson, DaVonte Lambert, Elijah Daniel and LaDarius Owens combined for 10 tackles and just two tackles for loss against a very good Arkansas offensive line.

Head coach Gus Malzahn conceded the Tigers need to get better in that area.

“We definitely need to get better as pass rushing,” Malzahn said. “This time last year was really similar. We got better each week, so that’s what we’ll work really hard to do.”

Even with the losses of Ford and Lawson, Auburn and defensive line coach Rodney Garner have plenty of able guys to give Auburn a respectable pass rush.

Owens, the senior defensive end, earned the starting role in 2013 and registered 28 tackles, 4.5 of which were tackles for loss. Daniel, a true sophomore, tallied nine total tackles last season, with three of those coming behind the line of scrimmage. Adams, the sizable defensive tackle, had 20 tackles last season and possesses the size and speed to disrupt the offense. Wright’s an experienced senior at tackle who can get to the passer inside.

Luckily for Garner and the Auburn coaching staff, the Tigers have plenty of depth on the defensive front.

“Coach Garner rotates guys just like he did last year trying to keep guys fresh and all that,” Malzahn told the media on Tuesday. “We’ll do the same thing as the season gets going. You could see some different things like you did last year. We’ll still rotate guys just like last year to keep them fresh.”

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson will use stunts and disguised blitz packages to confuse the offensive line and give the Tigers’ defensive front a chance to get into the backfield.

Reports out of Auburn have Lawson progressing well after his surgery in May, and there’s an outside chance to may be ready to return late in the year. Malzahn is planning to play without him, though.

Owens, Adams, Daniel and Wright are athletic defensive linemen who give Auburn a potential top-tier pass rush.

Until we see it on the field, however, we’ll have to wait and see.