Coming off its worst defensive performance of the season, the Auburn Tigers made some tweaks during its bye week.

Auburn surrendered 38 points and 469 yards of total offense to No. 1 Mississippi State two weeks ago, and though there were some adjustments that needed to be made, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the Tigers aren’t overhauling the scheme.

“We’re not going to change a whole lot,” Johnson said Sunday night after Auburn opened South Carolina week.

Highlighted among the switches are defensive end Elijah Daniel making the move inside to tackle, Brandon King being moved to end and former Star Justin Garrett joining the linebacking corps.

Auburn’s secondary — historically a weakness — has been good for Johnson this season, even with a myriad of youngsters seeing significant minutes in the defensive backfield through the first half of the year.

All of the aforementioned changes center around the Tigers’ need for a stronger pass rush. Daniel has struggled at defensive end; he’s not an edge rusher by nature and has lost contain at times this season. Offensive line coach Rodney Garner believes the move to tackle for Daniel will result in him being similar to former Auburn great Nosa Eguae.

“Pass rush is his specialty,” Johnson told reporters.

It’s the move for King, though, that has Auburn coaches and players excited.

The senior has played mostly on special teams during the course of his two-year stint at Auburn, but has gotten increased snaps this season at linebacker and safety. When searching for speed on the edge during the bye week, Johnson gave King a look at defensive end and liked what he saw.

“We’re going to try to get him in there for the opportunity,” Johnson told “There’s no question [he’s] the fastest off the edge we got.”

Meanwhile, the move for Garrett signals a commitment to a three-man rotation at linebacker. Garrett replaces Anthony Swain and Tre Williams as the primary backup to Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost.

The trio of McKinzy, Frost and Garrett made their debut in Starkville and combined for 16 tackles.

After playing nearly every snap through Auburn’s first three and a half games, Swain and Williams both saw playing time against Louisiana Tech after McKinzy and Frost went down with injuries. Neither one did enough to hold the job. Garrett did against Mississippi State.

“I see it right now as a three-way rotation with 8, 17 and 26,” Johnson said. “I see them all getting equal number of reps. I think Swain and Tre have been solid. Justin right now is making a few more plays.”

Garrett has played Star most of his Auburn career and has a wealth of experience in man-to-man coverage, an area that McKinzy and Frost aren’t as experienced. The move allows Johnson a variety of options in coverage without sacrificing an impactful pass rush.

“The other thing I hope it will allow us to do is play a little bit of 2-high man and other type of things without taking him off the field because he has been a Dime linebacker,” Johnson added. “If he can take that and play a tight end or a fourth receiver we feel like he can handle with help over the top, now we can do that without substituting and it may help us down the road.”