The Cadillac was also honored for his performance in week three as he rushed for 167 yards as the Tigers defeated Vanderbilt. Last week, teammate Reggie Torbor was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the Tigers won at Mississippi State.
The Cadillac’s partner in the backfield, fullback Brandon Johnson, has high praise for Williams. “He is something else,” Johnson says. “He fights every play. All you have got to do is get on somebody and he will make a move or something. As long as you put a hand on them, he is going to get around them.”
An eight-yard run in the third overtime period when Williams cut outside at left end gave the Tigers a 37-34 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night. “It is hard to tackle Carnell one on one,” Johnson says. “I knew when he bounced it and had a chance to score he would probably put it in there.”
Carnell Williams is shown on one of his 40 carries vs. the Syracuse Orangemen. The Cadillac carried the ball 32 times in regulation play and eight more in the overtime periods.
Williams leads the SEC in rushing at 127.8 yards per game, which is ninth nationally for the 4-1 24th-ranked Tigers, who are off this week. He has scored nine touchdowns this season and has two touchdowns in four straight games, which makes him the first running back in Auburn history to earn that distinction.
“He looks for daylight and one person doesn’t bring him down,” notes Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville. “He always fights for that extra yard. He makes a difference and he gives us a chance.”
Tuberville says on the game-winning touchdown, Syracuse stacked the line of scrimmage to try to stop the Auburn sophomore, but the Cadillac made the big play anyway. “The thing he does great is he goes inside and comes back out and runs you to the corner,” Tuberville says.
Williams, the first Tiger to win SEC player of the week honors twice in one season since quarterback Patrick Nix did it twice in 1994, scored his first touchdown vs. Syracuse in the second overtime on a brilliant six-yard run. He took a huge blow to the chin as he crossed the goal line, but bounced back with the game-winning run in the third overtime. “I landed face first and I blanked out just a second or two,” Williams says describing his first TD run. He got a huge cheer when he got to his feet and jogged back to the Auburn sideline.
Describing his second touchdown vs. the Orangemen, Williams says, “I kind of had two guys inside so I baited them inside, gave them a little jab move inside. The whole time, I felt I could beat them to the corner so I accelerated outside.” That move ended the second longest game in Auburn football history four minutes before midnight.
Williams has 639 rushing yards on 113 carries this season with an average of 5.7 yards per rush. Williams and the Tigers return to practice on Tuesday to begin preparations for their next game, an Oct. 12th home contest vs. Arkansas.