The Cadillac put together a classic performance. He rolled over the Tide early and late, finishing with 204 rushing yards on 26 carries. He scored two touchdowns and thoroughly enjoyed his evening in Jordan-Hare Stadium after missing last year's game with an injury and missing all but seven plays of the game his freshman year when he was injured on a run vs. the Crimson Tide.
"It is one of greatest feelings I have ever had in college football," Williams said following the 28-23 Auburn victory. "You know, from me being knee-high as a little kid watching the Iron Bowl watching the great games, I always wanted to play in it and felt like one day I was going to play in it. For me to go out and play the way I did, and us as a team, man, it is overwhelming. It is great."
The victory to close a disappointing 7-5 regular season put some medicine on his team's wounds, Williams noted. "I think as a team, this victory here does heal a lot of things because this is the big day here," Williams said. "This is the day that everybody is waiting for--the Alabama-Auburn game, one of the best rivalries in the country. It does take away a lot of the hurt we have been through."
Carnell Williams celebrates the 28-23 Auburn victory.
Williams suffered a broken collarbone early in the first quarter vs. Bama two years ago after running through the Tide defense early in the game. Last year in Tuscaloosa his season had long since ended with a broken bone in his leg at Florida. This time, the Cadillac was tuned up and ready to roll.
Williams had his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 11th of his career. It was the second time he had rushed for 200. With the big day, he moved into sixth on the AU all-time rushing chart with 2,598 yards, passing Stacy Danley (2,427)
"That is real special," he said of the victory. "Growing up as a kid, I always wanted to play in the Iron Bowl. The last two years, unfortunately, I came up short on it."
Williams scored the first time he touched the football, going 80 yards on the first play of the game. "It was a lead play," he said. "The offensive line came off the line great, BJ (fullback Brandon Johnson) made a great block. Then the receivers downfield were blocking. Basically, I saw daylight and ran."
That play was the eighth longest run in Auburn history and the third longest by a Tiger vs. Alabama. Joe Cribbs went 85 in 1977 and Connie Frederick ran a fake punt 84 yards in 1969.
The Cadillac's position coach, Eddie Gran, said watching what happened on Saturday night was a pleasure. "He didn't get a chance to be in the Iron Bowl last year so this was extra special for him. His first year he only made it through about seven plays so this was awfully important for him to get to this game, number one, and for him to have the game he had you just have got to love it. It is a perfect scenario for that young man and the way he plays the game."