Williams Wants Strong Finish For His Tigers

Senior linebacker Antarrious Williams talks about the win over Georgia and preparing for the Alabama game.

Auburn, Ala.—-Auburn's 31-30 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night was special for everyone in orange and blue. That was especially the case for senior linebacker Antarrious Williams. A Georgia native, he says that the win was huge and a game for the ages.

"It was special," Williams says. "We only won by one point, but that game is like an instant classic. We didn't play as good as we wanted to on defense, but we got the job done and came out with the victory.

"It's a game that we can learn from," Williams adds. "We know where we're at and what we need to do. We just need to work on what we need to work on to get better going into this Alabama week. This is the biggest game of the season."

Williams says that the defense is anxious to prove themselves in the Iron Bowl after two lackluster performances.

Despite being from Georgia, Williams says he learned quickly how important the Alabama game is to the people of Auburn. In fact, he says that was probably the first and most important information he got after becoming a Tiger.

"From the day I stepped on this campus," Williams says. "Auburn and Alabama, the Iron Bowl, that's the biggest rivalry for Auburn. I just had to be prepared for that when I came over here and signed that scholarship to be an Auburn Tiger.

"We were already thinking about Alabama leaving the stadium Saturday night," he adds. "That was just a stepping stone to get ready for this game. This is the biggest game of our season. We just have to go out and prepare and play like it is."

Bothered by nagging injuries much of his final season, Williams is third on the team with 41 tackles. Not a bad number, but a far cry from where the former safety wanted his totals to be. Despite his lack of production he says that this game would make his season a success.

"It's pretty big," Williams says. "We were hoping that they would come here undefeated. They're only one win away from being undefeated right now so they're the best team in the SEC right now on the field. We just have to go out and play better and prepare even better for those guys."

Last week it was Williams, Marcus McNeill, Troy Reddick and others that were the motivation for the team to play well because all are from Georgia. This week Williams says that there's no doubt who has stepped up this week to take over the leadership reigns for the Iron Bowl.

"It starts with T.J. (Jackson) on the defensive side," Williams says. "On offense we've got a lot of guys from Alabama. Most all of our receivers and Brandon Cox is from Alabama. There are a lot of guys on offense and this is going to be a big challenge for them this week. Alabama has the best defense in the SEC so they've got to go out and be ready for the challenge."

The assignment for the defense is tough, but for a different reason. The last two weeks the Tigers have struggled to stop opponents, particularly in the passing game. Williams says because Alabama's defense gives up very few points or yards, Auburn's defense must be very good to come away with the win.

"It's a challenge for us," Williams says. "Our offense has to go out and do their job, but defense wins championships. We've got to go out and play great defense. If they stop our offense and we stop their offense it's going to come down to who executes best. It's always a challenge for us."

With one more victory Williams and his fellow seniors would leave Auburn as the all-time winningest class in school history. Currently the group is 38-11 over four years and has won 23 of its last 25 games. Williams says those are numbers he can't even comprehend at the moment and the group has to close out the deal with one more victory.

"I can't even put that into words," Williams says. "We've just had a great time so far and we want to put that cap on it. We want to finish off strong. This is going to be the biggest game of the season. We've got to go out and execute and win this game."


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