Team Play Keys Williams In Run To Award

Auburn, Ala.—For the fourth time in his career Auburn tailback Carnell Williams has been named the SEC Offensive Player Of The Week.

The latest comes after his exciting performance Saturday night in Auburn's 28-21 victory over seventh-ranked Tennessee at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Williams rushed for 185 yards on 36 carries and scored one touchdown against a defense that entered the game allowing less than 100 yards on the ground per game. Williams also had two catches for 16 yards and a kickoff return for 31 yards. That gave him a career-high total of 232 all-purpose yards. Running backs Coach Eddie Gran said Williams' play Saturday night was a testament to the goal he and his teammates set of being the most physical group of running backs on the field Saturday night.

"I think you saw out there who the physical running backs were," Gran said. "You saw who the physical team was and they set the tempo from the first play. That's what Carnell does, Carnell, Ronnie (Ronnie Brown) and all of them. They not only can beat you physically by running you over, but have the athletic ability to make you miss. That's really a neat weapon to have."

During the game Williams moved into 13th place in Auburn history with 1,761 career rushing yards and his 19 career touchdowns are good enough for seventh all-time in the Auburn books. Both totals would be good enough to earn Williams a sure starting job at just about any other school in the country, but he's had to learn to share the load with Brown, Brandon Jacobs and Tre Smith. Some thought that would be a tough thing to do, but Saturday night showed the true character of Williams and this Auburn team.

In the first drive of the game Williams carried the ball five times for 40 yards and caught a key screen pass for 10 yards on third down and seven to keep Auburn's drive alive. Sensing he was a little winded, Williams signaled for Brown to come into the game with the ball on the 17-yard line. Two plays later Brown was in the end zone with the touchdown and Auburn had the lead.

"It was wonderful," Gran said of Williams' teamwork with Brown Saturday night. "Then Ronnie got hurt and everybody has asked me the question, ‘What are you doing to do with four running backs?' You saw it. We have a bunch of games left. Thank God we've got this group of guys. I'll bet you out of the 117 schools out there they would love to be in our situation. It's all going to work out. I always tell them that. I tell my players that and they're patient. That's why they're team guys."

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