Cadillac Dinged But Still Running

Auburn, Ala.--After having his seasons cut short by broken bones his freshman and sophomore years, Carnell Williams was ready for some good news from the X-Ray technician on his third encounter with radiation.

The third time was a charm and the second quarter injury to the Tiger junior tailback turned out to be just a bruised ankle. It was a real relief," Williams said.

The Cadillac was late arriving back on the field for the second half after a visit to the body shop, but he was dressed in full gear and ready to go if needed. However, he did not play in the third and fourth quarters.

"I told them I was OK and if they would have let me played I would have played," Williams said. "I tweaked it a bit, but they wanted to save me for next week.

Williams said he is pleased with the progress he is seeing from the offensive unit, which has scored 93 points in its last seven quarters. Part of the credit, Coach Tommy Tuberville said, goes to some tweaking of the game plans and the offense. The Tigers have added new plays and are running old plays out of a variety of formations. Williams said he likes the changes.

"We are just not predictable now," he said. "We could be in one set and most of the time we would just run from that set. Now we could pass it and we are throwing screens.

Another Auburn player who left the field in the first half with an injury appears to be OK, too. Tight end Cooper Wallace could have returned if needed, Auburn coaches said Saturday. However, with the game under control backups Steven Ross, Cole Bennett and Ben Grubbs got much needed game experience. Bennett caught three passes for 41 yards.

News and Notes: With the Hilltoppers going three and out in every first half possession, the Auburn starters didn't have much of an opportunity to make many tackles. Reserves T.J. Jackson and Kevin Sears led the team in tackles with four. Jackson and Tim Duckworth were credited with 1 1/2 sacks while freshman Marquis Gunn got a sack as did linebacker Dontarrious Thomas, who had just one tackle in the game with the defensive line taking care of business most of the time before Thomas could get to the ball carrier...Auburn's 38 first half points were the most for the Tigers since getting 42 vs. Fresno State in 1996...The 11 total yards allowed by the Auburn defense in the first half was an all-time low during Tommy Tuberville's tenure at AU...Philip Yost's field goal tied the school record of 57 yards set by Neil O'Donoghue, an Irishman who transferred to AU when the soccer team at St. Bernard College in Cullman, Ala., was disbanded. O'Donoghue's 57-yarder came vs. Tennessee in 1976. Yost's kick is the seventh longest in sEC history and the longest in 18 years...AU scored on its opening drive for the first time since the Louisiana-Monroe game last year...Auburn has won two straight victories by margins of 35 points or more for the first time since 1970 when AU whipped Florida 63-14 and Mississippi State 56-0...Carnell Williams said the Tigers...Linebacker Karlos Dansby said he liked the way the Tigers played together as a unit on defense and the way AU played physical football. He got his hand on two passes, but couldn't come up with an interception. "I had two opportunities," he said. "I wanted to get those two."

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