Darrell Williams (above) has broken into the starting lineup this season despite not getting much playing time as a freshman.
Auburn, Ala.--Playing in just his second SEC football game Auburn linebacker Darrell Williams went toe-to-toe with possibly the most dynamic offensive player in the SEC, LSU running back Leonard Fournette.
After being dominated by Fournette and the rest of the LSU offense in 2015, Auburn’s defensive players made it a point to make sure there wasn’t a repeat performance. A much better showing by the defenders was a key to their team’s 18-13 victory on Saturday night.
“We practice being physical every day,” Williams said. “When it comes to games it’s just natural. That is just how we want our identity to be.”
Williams pointed out that on his first attempt at tackling Fournette during the opening drive of Saturday’s game he “missed his opportunity.” He made sure to not let it happen again as the sophomore finished with four tackles on the evening.
The linebacker notes he likes the challenge of going up against a player the caliber of Fournette. “I can remember being at the Under Armour All-American things and he was in the game and I was at the camp,” Williams explained.
“I have been seeing him play for a long time, and this is my first year getting to play a lot,” Williams said. “I?have been seeing him play in college since I've been here so I know he is a good player and I respect his game. It's just good being able to play against guys with talent like that. I just play my best.”
Fournette gained 101 yards on 16 carries, but Auburn didn’t allow him to score after he personally did it three times in last year’s 45-21 LSU victory. In that contest Fournette ran the ball 19 times for 228 yards.
In Saturday’s game the All-America candidate broke off runs of 35 yards and 16 yards, but was held to 3.6 yards per carry on his 14 other rushes.
Williams notes that he and his teammates have already turned their focus to this week’s home game vs. the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. However, he did admit that he was “feeling good” about the dramatic victory over SEC West rival LSU.
“It was a big step for us with how good we are trying to be as a team,” the sophomore says. “We just keep looking forward to the next game next week and get ready to prepare.”
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium as the Tigers take on an opponent that will bring a 1-2 record into the game.