Containing the Cadillac

That will be the goal of the Florida Gators this weekend as both teams look to recover from embarrassing home defeats to SEC Western conference foes. The goal for Florida is obvious but not easy: Stop the Cadillac, Stop Auburn.

For the past 3 season against Auburn, if a team is able to shut down the Aub urn running game they win. The key is to make Daniel Cobb beat you. Cobb is the type of player that likes to take chances with the ball. If he is successful, he can play with anyone, see 2002 Florida and Georgia. If he doesn't take care of the ball, the results can be disastrous, see Arkansas 2001, 2002, and Southern Cal 2002. Forcing Daniel Cobb to make plays though is not as easy as it sounds, not when there is a talent in the backfield like Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

Williams is arguably the best running back in the country in his second year out of Etowah High School in Attalla, AL. Williams is currently leading the SEC in rushing at 123 yards per game, and that includes a 4 carry 67 yard performance against Western Carolina.

A lot of players come into the college ranks with 5 star hype accompanying them. Williams is one of the players that has lived up to is his high school billing. He saw his first extensive action last year against Florida, and in one carry it was obvious that this kid had all the tools.

In a tight game in the 4th quarter, the rookie was put on the field in the biggest game of the year. He took a quick pitch left and had All-American candidate Alex Brown free in the backfield waiting for him. Brown never laid a finger on him. A quick hesitation and burst, and Williams had made it to the corner where he duplicated the move on another defender before spinning between 2 Gators for about a 13 yard run. This was not Herschel Walker running over Bill Bates in 1980 to announce his presence as the best freshman running back ever, but it was enough to show the total package that Williams brings to the table.

His stop and go is similar to Barry Sanders. Williams sets up defenders better than anyone in the league. He gives just a little hesitation and he bursts around the corner. I've seen him set up outside linebackers that have contain on him a half a dozen times, and I've seen 1 touch him. None have made the tackle when they are 1 on 1 with the Cadillac.

The key to containing him is making him go between the tackles. He is a strong runner at 195/200 pounds, but he is most dangerous when he has his sites on the outside. Georgia contained Williams last year. He rushed for over 160 yards, but it took 41 carries. They forced Williams through the middle.

The key to this game for both teams is to force the opposing offenses to the air. Few quarterbacks in College Football have given up more turnovers than Daniel Cobb and Rex Grossman. Auburn gave up 400 yards of rushing to Arkansas last week, and they bring the leagues best running back to Gainesville. Whoever holds on to the ball better will win this game. That sounds simple enough, but after watching Auburn and Florida this season, we know that protecting the ball has been the toughest challenge facing both teams.

Prediction? Gators 31 - Tigers 17

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