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11/20/22 Auburn Articles


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Joseph Goodman: History is here for the Iron Bowl

Updated: Nov. 20, 2022, 7:52 a.m.|Published: Nov. 20, 2022, 6:50 a.m.
6–7 minutes

Fifty-two years separates the player for Auburn football who broke the color barrier in the Iron Bowl and the Auburn head football coach who will do it next Saturday.

There might be an interim tag line ahead of coach Carnell Williams, but he is making permanent history for the state of Alabama. Iron Bowl week is here, and with it comes a new measure of significance for this game that stands also as a cultural lodestone. Williams will be the first Black head coach in the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama.

Let me repeat it.

Williams will be the first Black head coach in the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama.

It matters in a way that is more than twice as important as the game itself.

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Waste not these days of Thanksgiving in celebrating that truth. Do not shy away from the moment, or leave it for another generation to fully appreciate. Williams is a Black man from Attalla, Alabama, and now he is a beloved Black head coach in the Iron Bowl.

And the man they call Cadillac is doing it in brilliant, beaming, beautiful style.

Williams is 40 years old. This is his first time being a head coach at any level of football. Before this, he coached the running backs. When Auburn fired its previous head coach on Oct. 31, Williams was unexpectedly given the duty of interim head coach. Almost overnight he changed the trajectory of Auburn football. In the history of the SEC, there have only been five Black head football coaches. For the past two seasons, there hadn’t been any before Williams was promoted under impossible circumstances.

He was thrust upon this stage without seeking it, and yet he was innately prepared for it. Williams was asked about Auburn’s coaching search. Let his answer be cast in bronze and displayed at Toomer’s Corner.

“I really don’t care,” Williams said. “My seat doesn’t dictate my service. Auburn is special. Those kids are special.”

God, I love it. Williams is new-school swag with an old-school soul. And he is destined to lead.

Maybe Williams will have to go elsewhere if he wants to be a permanent head coach, but that’s not on Williams. I’ve head people say maybe Williams could do it in the future. Yeah, maybe so, but Williams is good enough to be Auburn’s permanent head football coach now, and he has proved beyond a doubt that he brings something to the table that no on other coach could. He’s not just a good fit for Auburn. Williams is Auburn. He is Alabama.

James Owens of Fairfield, Alabama, is the player who broke the color barrier for Auburn football. The 1970 season was his debut with the varsity team. Owens was a running back for the Tigers, but he actually played linebacker in his first Iron Bowl. Alabama jumped out to a 17-0 lead at Birmingham’s Legion Field, but Auburn stormed back behind quarterback Pat Sullivan and won 33-28.

Owens passed away in 2012 at the age of 65. Looking back on his time at Auburn, he later said that his role as the first Black football player for Auburn was done in service for people other than himself. Here on the 10-year anniversary of Owens’ death, Williams is echoing those same words.

The power of his message is bright and awe-spun. It has transformed the image of Auburn. It has brought people together. Just think of all the people in Alabama who are going to wish for a Cadillac for Christmas.

There is an enchanting quality to what Williams has accomplished, but it was not done by magic. It happened because Williams is good at his job. Auburn is 5-6 on the season, and the team celebrated its 41-17 victory against Western Kentucky on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium like it had just clinched the SEC West. The scenes from Jordan-Hare Stadium gave me goosebumps and not for the first time. It has been an extraordinary fortnight on The Plains, and it was made possible by the potential of college football in the Deep South to reveal the power of opportunity.

Williams simply asked people to believe, and so now reflect on all that has been gained from the energy radiating from Auburn in these forms of love and faith. There is a purity to what Auburn has unlocked with an interim coach — a Black head coach — that was hidden inside a box I never knew existed.

Look at what Williams has accomplished in such a short amount of time. Auburn is going into the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa as a team of new hope. Williams is 2-1 as interim head coach and the only thing separating Auburn and a perfect record with Cadillac is an overtime loss on the road to Mississippi State after just a handful of days to prepare.

And Auburn stormed back in the second half in that game.

The result of the Iron Bowl matters, of course, but a loss for Auburn at this point will do nothing to take away from what Williams has accomplished. Auburn football is playing with a spirit that no other coach could have inspired except for the one turning three weeks in November into a march towards the power of togetherness and the shattering of perceptions.

But, make no mistake, Williams isn’t going to Bryant-Denny Stadium in search of a moral victory or a pat on the back from Nick Saban. Williams is taking Auburn to the Iron Bowl to win the game.

“Whether it’s the Dallas Cowboys or the University of Alabama, we aren’t going to blink,” Williams said. “We’re going to lay it on the line and see what happens.”

I’ve seen what happens with Williams as the coach of Auburn, and it’s like the barriers that seemed so insurmountable only a few weeks ago have all been run over by a tank.

Joseph Goodman is a columnist for the Alabama Media Group, and author of “We Want Bama: A season of hope and the making of Nick Saban’s ‘ultimate team’”. You can find him on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.

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Cadillac Williams on respect for, history with ‘the great Nick Saban’

Published: Nov. 19, 2022, 9:31 p.m.
4–5 minutes

Cadillac Williams has a minor grievance with Nick Saban that predates his time at Alabama.

It was back in 2005, when Saban had just taken over the Miami Dolphins and Williams was fresh off an All-America senior campaign and undefeated season at Auburn. The Dolphins had the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft that spring, and Williams was one of the top running backs in the class—and that was a position of need for Miami.

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The problem for Williams? His backfield mate on the Plains, Ronnie Brown, was also available.

“He did pass on me in the 2005 (NFL) Draft, and he took Ronnie Brown over me,” Williams laughed Saturday night. “That still hurts me a little bit, but I’m over it now.”

Williams was picked three spots later by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now after an NFL career and a climb up the coaching ladder, he’s the interim head coach at Auburn and preparing for his first head-to-head meeting with Saban. Auburn visits Alabama in the Iron Bowl next weekend as the teams close out their regular-season schedules.

Williams is no stranger to the Iron Bowl, of course.

He played in three of them during his four years at Auburn, winning two of them, and he has coached in three more as an assistant on the Tigers’ staff. Now he’ll get his third different vantage point in the storied rivalry — as Auburn’s interim head coach next weekend when the Tigers visit Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“I tip my hat off to the success that that university has had, but look, we are going to play football, Auburn football,” Williams said after Auburn’s 41-17 win against Western Kentucky. “Whether that’s (playing the) Dallas Cowboys, (the) University of Alabama, the great Nick Saban, these kids not going to blink. We’re not blinking.”

Auburn will most certainly be an underdog when it travels to Tuscaloosa next weekend. It’s just 5-6 on the year, and while the team has won two in a row under Williams’ guidance, the Tigers are still fighting just to become bowl eligible. A win on the road against eighth-ranked Alabama would promise Auburn one more game, a bowl berth for the 10th year in a row.

Auburn hasn’t won in Tuscaloosa since the Camback in 2010, as Nick Saban’s program has dominated the series in Bryant-Denny Stadium during that stretch, going 5-0 with an average margin of victory of 27.6 points —almost four touchdowns. Saban has built a juggernaut across the state, and although the Tide has two losses already this season and no path to a championship, Williams views Saban in high regard, and has for more than two decades.

When Saban was at LSU in 2001, he recruited Williams out of Etowah High, even paying him an in-home visit during the process. Williams, of course, ultimately signed with Auburn.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for the great Nick Saban, a lot of respect,” Williams said. “He came and sat on my couch in 2001, when he was at LSU. My mom, my dad, we were very impressed by Coach Saban.”

That will all come full circle for Williams this week, as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with Saban for the first time as a head coach. Auburn will celebrate its win against WKU on Saturday night, but come Sunday, the focus will be strictly on Alabama and trying to figure out a way to snap that losing streak in Tuscaloosa.

“We’re excited for this opportunity,” Williams said. “We want to send these seniors off. Like I told them, us giving our best doesn’t guarantee that we’re going to win, but what we can do is we can look ourselves in the mirror and we can be happy with whatever results happen. We’re going to lay it on the line and see what happens.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.

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Auburn goes 'old school' to kick running game into high gear

Jason Caldwell
3–4 minutes


AUBURN, Alabama—A rushing offense that struggled to find much room at all up front for much of the year, the Auburn Tigers starting building some confidence in losses to Ole Miss and Arkansas, but since the move of Cadilac Williams to interim coach and Will Friend moving to the play-caller for the Tigers, the running game has kicked into high gear.

On Saturday against Western Kentucky, Auburn’s running game took on an old-school look at times with the Tigers going back to the days of Williams and Ronnie Brown in the backfield while running Al Borges’ offense. Lining up in the I-formation with John Samuel Shenker leading the way, the Tigers got a pair of big touchdown runs by Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter in the second half to run away from Western Kentucky for the win.

Williams said it’s all about a mindset for this team and how the Tigers want to finish things.

“We are bringing it back to some big-boy football,” Williams said. “You know, coming downhill, hitting you in the mouth and being able to fight or quit.”

It’s that type of attitude and hard-nosed approach that felt good to Auburn senior left tackle Kilian Zierer. While he’s still relatively new to American football, the native of Germany has learned what old school football is like from Friend and he enjoyed busting it out against the Hilltoppers.

“We went old school,” Zierer said. “We knew if we ever got in a third and short or that situation, we were going to run a play like that. We went back and watched film from 15 years ago and it worked. It’s fun for us O-linemen to play old school football.”

Maybe the biggest part of playing old school football is finding a way to get your best players the football with an opportunity to do some damage. In 2004 that meant lining Brown up at fullback a good bit of the time to get Auburn’s two running backs on the field together. Auburn is doing some of the same things with Bigsby and Hunter playing in some of the same sets.


Getting them more involved and feeding the running game has resulted in back-to-back 100-yard games for both of Auburn’s ball carriers the last two weeks. Williams said it’s no secret what they want to do and how they want to be successful because it’s as old as the game itself.

I have been around a lot, a lot of good coaches,” Williams said. “And one thing the really good coaches have in common is getting the ball to their best players. It's not about what system we run. I'm a firm believer that you've got to do what's best for your team, the strength of your team. “So if that's us lining up and running different ways and using Robby (Ashford) with his legs to run the football — and right now, that's where we’re at. And as we go along, the game of football, life is about confidence. They gain confidence and now you add a little bit from there, and that's all it was.”

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Energized Auburn seniors go out in style after halftime talk

Phillip Marshall
4–5 minutes


A 17-3 lead over Western Kentucky had become a 17-17 tie as Auburn players headed to the locker room Saturday at Jordan Hare Stadium. After a crisp first quarter, the second quarter had been frustrating and disappointing. And seniors playing their last game on Pat Dye Field were not happy about it.

Interim Auburn head coach Cadillac Williams sat back and listened to what the team’s seniors had to say to their teammates, and he believed everything was going to be OK.

“They said we’re not going to have it,” Williams said. “Self-inflicted wounds. This isn’t Auburn defense. We’re not serving each other. …  On offense, those guys made up their minds. Going to get rid of the stupid penalties, the self-inflicted wounds, all this talking back and forth. They were going to win their one-on-one battles and do what they were supposed to do. That’s what I kept hearing over and over. It made our job as coaches a lot easier.”


The Tigers went back to the field and dominated the final two quarters, outscoring the Hilltoppers 24-0 an winning 41-17. Cornerback Jaylin Simpson said it started in the locker room.

11455725.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 Derick Hall a winner in his final game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. (Photo: Greg McWilliams, 247Sports)

“When we came into the locker room the seniors came in here, they gave us a not-so-nice talk, if you want to call it that,” Simpson said. “They just gave us some words of wisdom. “And, you know, I think that changed the energy for everybody, the whole team.”

Edge Derick Hall will likely be in the NFL next season, but he couldn’t bear the thought of losing in his last game at the stadium that has been such a part of his life.

“My time here has been nothing short of amazing,” Hall said. “Auburn is a very special place. I came here as a 17-year-old boy and I'm leaving as a 22-year-old man. Auburn has done a lot for me, and I'll forever be indebted to this place. I'll be forever indebted to the people here, but I know one thing about Auburn: They say if you love Auburn, then Auburn will love you back. And that is true.”

Twenty-four players were honored on Senior Day, and it was an emotional moment for Williams, who was named interim head coach after Bryan Harsin was fired on Oct. 31.

“I am honored to be part of the Auburn family,” Williams said. “Twenty-four seniors have been through three head coaches, multiple position coaches, COVID, George Floyd and what happened the past three weeks. ,,,  They have had every reason to fold, every excuse. They have given me so much confidence to do this job. I go from the first week of being a scared puppy to watching guys come by my office and say ‘Coach, we believe in you. Coach, we are so happy.’

“The love. Former teammates. Former players. The students on campus. It’s unreal. I want it so bad for them.”

After the game had been played and the interviews had been done, many of Auburn’s seniors returned to sit inside the arena where they had so many memories and reflect on it all. Some smoked cigars, which is something of a tradition.

“Just going back down memory lane and thinking of the great times on that field,” linebacker Owen Pappoe said. “Spending time with my teammates there, too. I was sitting next to Derick (Hall), Colby (Wooden), (Brandon) Council. We’ve all been here for a while. The fact that this is the last game in Jordan-Hare is crazy to think about. We were just sitting there soaking up the moment.”

Wide receiver Koy Moore, a transfer from LSU, is in his first Auburn season. And Williams, he said, has made it special in just three games.


“When he is telling you something, you have to respect it,” Moore said. “… Having a guy that believes in you shows how good he is. Everyone is playing hard for that man. He is probably the best coach that has ever run into us, so I appreciate him for that.”

Williams has at least one more game as Auburn’s interim head coach. The Tigers go to Tuscaloosa next Saturday to play Alabama. Should the pull an upset, they will qualify for a bowl bid.

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Lane Kiffin addresses reports of being Auburn's top target after loss to Arkansas

Updated: Nov. 20, 2022, 6:43 a.m.|Published: Nov. 19, 2022, 11:52 p.m.
~4 minutes

  1. Auburn Football

Lane Kiffin addresses Auburn candidacy: ‘Maybe if they watched the 1st half, I wouldn’t be No. 1′

Lane Kiffin

Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin reacts during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)AP

Lane Kiffin is aware his name has been heavily associated with Auburn’s head coaching vacancy this fall.

Kiffin’s name has been linked to Auburn since before the Tigers fired Bryan Harsin on Halloween, and the buzz has only picked up in the almost three weeks since new Auburn athletics director John Cohen began his search for the program’s next coach. Kiffin has been the candidate most associated with the job on the Plains, and multiple reports have suggested he’s the Tigers’ No. 1 target.

Read more Auburn football: Updating Auburn’s coaching search

Cadillac Williams on respect for, history with ‘the great Nick Saban’

Auburn AD John Cohen discusses coaching search, deadline for making a hire

Kiffin was asked about those reports again Saturday night after Ole Miss’ double-digit loss to Arkansas, as well as a report earlier this week that said the Rebels offered him a new contract and raise to remain in Oxford, Miss.

“Fair question,” Kiffin said when asked about being viewed as Auburn’s top target. “Like I said, I love being here. I don’t want to look to next year already with a regular-season game (still to play), but this is not one of those years where you were, ‘We’re going to lose all these guys.’ There’s a lot of people coming back, and a lot of new guys offensively, especially. So, very excited about the future. So, I don’t know all that stuff out there — No. 1 (candidate) stuff. Maybe if they watched the first half (against Arkansas), I wouldn’t be No. 1 anymore.”

Ole Miss lost to Arkansas, 42-27, in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday night. The Rebels trailed 35-6 at halftime while turning the ball over twice, punting twice and missing a field goal.

It was Ole Miss’ second straight loss after opening the season 8-0, having lost to Alabama a week earlier.

Despite that loss to the Tide, a report surfaced earlier this week about Ole Miss extending a new contract to Kiffin that would have made him one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the country. Kiffin, who currently makes $7.25 million a year and is the 11th-highest paid coach in college football this season, declined to address that report head-on, noting he “never” discusses such things, and while he expressed appreciation for the administration at Ole Miss, he didn’t exactly put to bed any talk of a potential exit from Ole Miss after the Rebels wrap up their regular-season slate with the Egg Bowl against rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving Day.

“I’m very happy here,” Kiffin said. “I mean, I’m not happy right now, but that has nothing to do with being here. I’m not happy with the outcome (against Arkansas) because I wanted to get to 9-2 and get to 10-2 next week, so that’s all I’m worried about. So, I’m very happy to be here. I’m very appreciative of leadership here and the stuff they do to give us a chance to win.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.

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The Auburn Tigers beat Western Kentucky 41-17

Andrew Stefaniak
6–7 minutes

Auburn beats Western Kentucky 41-17 to end their home schedule on a high note.

This makes Coach Carnell Williams 2-1 in the games he has coached this season. 

Now the Tigers will focus their minds on rival Alabama as they look to win the Iron Bowl and become bowl eligible. 

41-17 Auburn 5:52 4Q

Jarquez Hunter

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

The Hilltoppers have put in a new quarterback. 

Dylan Brooks records a sack for the Tigers. 

Hayden Brice the senior sacks the quarterback and that will do it, the Tigers win 41-17. 

34-17 Auburn 7:48 3Q

Brandon Frazier

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

DJ JAMES pick six. Auburn leads 41-17. Wow this game has taken a turn in the Tigers favor. 

27-17 Auburn 1:08 3Q

Robby Ashford

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

Auburn will kick it away with a ten point lead. 

Auburn makes another stop and the Hilltoppers will punt it away. 

A Koy Moore drop will lead to a Tiger punt. 

The Hilltoppers have moved the ball into Tiger territory. 

It is fourth and 23 the Hilltoppers are deciding whether or not to go for it or attempt a field goal. 

They will go for it on fourth and 23. 

Turnover on downs. The Tigers will get the ball back with great field position. 

Auburn Touchdown! Jarquez Hunter takes it 40 yards to the house. 

Auburn leads 34-17. 

20-17 Auburn 7:17 3Q

DJ James

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

Auburn will kick it back to the Hilltoppers with a three point lead. 

Auburn makes the stop. The Tigers will get the ball back. 

Touchdown Auburn! Tank Bigsby takes it to the house from 35 yards out. Auburn leads 27-17. 

17-17 15:00 3Q

Tank Bigsby (4) stiff arms defender during the game between Auburn and Western Kentucky at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Austin Perrymann/AU Athletics

Austin Perrymann/AU Athletics

Auburn will receive the second half kickoff looking to retake the lead.  

The Tigers go three and out and punt it back to the Hilltoppers. 

Jaylin Simpson intercepts the pass to get the ball back to the Tigers. Auburn has to capitalize on this opportunity. 

The Tigers can't capitalize. They go three and out and will punt it back to the Hilltoppers. 

The Tigers get a much needed stop. The offense will get another shot at it. 

Back to back good runs have Auburn set up in Hilltopper territory. 

Ashford connects with Johnson for a huge gain. This will set up the Tigers first and goal. 

A fumbled snap stalls the drive. Auburn will settle for a field goal try. 

The kick is good Auburn leads 20-17. 

17-10 Auburn 4:35 2Q

Coach Zac Etheridge during Tiger Walk before the game between Auburn and Western Kentucky at Jordan Hare Stadium. Todd Van Emst / AU Athletics

Todd Van Emst / AU Athletics

The Tigers will get the ball back up seven. 

The Tiger drive stalls and they will punt it to the Hilltoppers. 

DJ James just dropped a sure fire interception. That one hurts. 

Western Kentucky has move it into Auburn territory. 

Western Kentucky scores. We will head to half with the game tied 17-17. Rough ending to the half for the Tigers. 

17-3 Auburn 7:21 2Q

NCAA Football- Western Kentucky at Auburn 2022_11-19-2022_22798

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

The Tigers will boot it away with a big lead. 

A big play and a unnecessary roughness penalty will set up the Hilltoppers in the red zone. 

Western Kentucky scores and cuts the Tiger lead to seven. 

They are reviewing to make sure the receiver caught the pass. 

The touchdown stands. 

10-3 Auburn 10:36 2Q

NCAA Football- Western Kentucky at Auburn 2022_11-19-2022_22927

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

Auburn will get the ball back with a seven point lead. 

The Tigers have moved the ball into WKU territory.

Jarquez Hunter connects with Koy Moore for a touchdown. Yes you read that correctly. 

They are reviewing to make sure Moore completed the catch. 

After review the touchdown stands. Coach Williams drew up a beautiful trick play there. 

Auburn leads 17-3. 

10-0 Auburn 0:35 1Q

NCAA Football- Western Kentucky at Auburn 2022_11-19-2022_22971

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

Auburn kicks it to the Hilltoppers with a ten point lead. 

On fourth and eight the Hilltoppers will punt it back to the Tigers. 

A great return sets up the Tigers with great field possession. 

A sack stalls the Auburn drive. The Tigers will punt it back to Western Kentucky. 

Western Kentucky has moved the ball into the red zone. 

The Tigers make the stop and the Hilltoppers will settle for a field goal try. 

The kick is good. Auburn still leads 10-3. 

7-0 Auburn 7:16 1Q

NCAA Football- Western Kentucky at Auburn 2022_11-19-2022_22959

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

The Tigers will kick it away with a seven point lead. 

The Hilltoppers go for it on fourth down and the Tigers get the stop. 

Auburn will get the ball back with good field position. 

Ashford connects with Brandon Frazier to pick up the first down. Great play from the big tight end. 

The Auburn drive stalls and they will settle for a long field goal try. 

McPherson nails it and the Tigers go ahead 10-0. 

0-0 15:00 1Q

NCAA Football- Western Kentucky at Auburn 2022_11-19-2022_22918

Eric Starling/Auburn Daily

Auburn will kick the ball away to the Hilltoppers. 

After driving down the field the Hilltoppers will have to settle for a field goal try. 

The field goal is missed and the Tigers will take over. 

Bigsby is stopped short of the marker on a screen pass. The Tigers will keep the offense on the field for fourth down. 

Robby Ashford connects with Shedrick Jackson to pick up the first down. 

On third and ten Ashford connects with true freshman Jay Fair to pick up the first down. The Tigers have it first and goal from the one. 

Touchdown Auburn! 

Tank Bigsby runs it in for the one yard score. 

Auburn leads 7-0. 

Series history

Auburn leads the all-time series vs Western Kentucky 2-0. The two teams first met in Jordan Hare Stadium in 2003 and the Tigers won 48-3. Two years later, Auburn won the most recent battle between the teams in 2005 and won 37-14.

Fun fact

From Auburn's release, in games against current members of Conference USA, the Tigers are 36-7-1 overall and 34-4-1 at home. That includes contests against UAB (1-0), Florida Atlantic (2-0), Louisiana Tech (12-0-1), North Texas (1-0), Rice (0-2), Southern Miss (18-5), and Western Kentucky (2-0). The most recent matchup was a 24-13 Auburn home win over Southern Miss in 2018.

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What Cadillac Williams said about Auburn’s 41-17 win against WKU

Updated: Nov. 20, 2022, 1:32 a.m.|Published: Nov. 19, 2022, 6:48 p.m.
~4 minutes

Auburn closed out its 2022 home slate with a second consecutive win Saturday.

Cadillac Williams improved to 2-1 as the Tigers’ interim coach, as Auburn used a dominant second half to put away Western Kentucky, 41-17, Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers got dueling 100-yard rushing performances from Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter for the second week in a row, and the defense turned in another suffocating effort after halftime to help Auburn improve to 5-6 on the year and keep its bowl hopes alive.

Williams met with the media after the game to recap Auburn’s win. Here’s a quick rundown of what he had to say:


-- Cadillac Williams can’t keep the smile off his face. “I am honored to be part of the Auburn family.”

-- Shouts out the 24 seniors, who have been through two head coaches, multiple position coaches, coordinators, COVID, the George Floyd killing and ensuing protests, as well as everything else. “The way they have responded... they done had every reason to fold, every excuse.”

-- Cadillac Williams is just overwhelmed by the support he has gotten from everywhere these last three weeks, and it has built up his confidence. He wanted these wins for the seniors, and this team, badly.

-- Says he doesn’t know who Auburn’s next coach will be, nor does he care: “My seat doesn’t dictate my service. Now, it can impact it, but it doesn’t dictate how much I serve, regardless.”

-- Tips his hat to Western Kentucky, which “didn’t blink” after falling behind 17-3.

-- “Being tied 17-17 going into half, to hear (Derick) Hall and the seniors step up and rally these troops.... man, them guys went in there, and I honestly left the room and let them handle it.”

-- On the running game’s resurgence in the second half: “I’ve been around a lot, a lot of good coaches, and the one thing the really good coaches got in common is getting the ball to their best players -- somehow.”

-- He expresses confidence in Robby Ashford, notes he’s “so raw but so talented.”

-- Williams challenged the offensive line and the running backs at halftime. They responded.

-- On Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter finishing the game with long touchdown runs: “That’s music to my ears.”

-- Williams told Tank Bigsby after Auburn signed Jarquez Hunter that “27 is gonna be the best thing that happened to you.” The two have complemented each other well in the backfield.

-- Williams says Auburn is “bringing back some big boy football,” coming at teams and punching them in the mouth.

-- Williams told Jarquez Hunter that the halfback pass was going to be a touchdown. He should know; he did it in 2004 against Georgia.

-- Williams on the Iron Bowl next week: “I’m on fire. I mean -- man, I got a lot of respect for the great Nick Saban. A lot of respect.” Saban recruited Williams out of high school, back when Saban was at LSU.

-- On the defense’s second-half performance, Williams calls DC Jeff Schmedding a “heck of a coach,” and also credits the staff. “When I say they are locked in, they believe they can shut people out.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.

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