Auburn, Ala.--A pair of Auburn football seniors have been honored for their performances in their team’s 33-20 Southeastern Conference victory over the Ole Miss Rebels.
Cornerback Walter McFadden is the SEC Defensive Player of the Week and end Antonio Coleman is the league’s Defensive Lineman of the Week.
McFadden intercepted two Jevan Snead passes on Saturday and returned the first one 29 yards for a touchdown. His second pick ended the final Ole Miss possession and Auburn was able to run out the clock to take the victory over the Rebels. McFadden also made five tackles.
“The first one (interception) came from the coaches,” McFadden said. “They train their players to always be around the ball. Good things will happen when you never stop pursuing. It was a lucky break how the ball just bounced off his hands. Once I got a hold of it, there was just enough blocking in front of me to take it in.”
McFadden tight-roped the sidelines while gaining control of the ball, got his balance and ran to the end zone to put the Tigers up 24-7 during a wild third quarter in which Auburn outscored the Rebels 23-13.
Commenting on his second interception, he said, “Demond Washington pressured their receiver out of his timing. The quarterback thought he was going to be in there. I saw it coming and stepped up.”
Coleman, an All-SEC player as a junior, made four solo tackles and added an assist vs the Rebels. He had two quarterback sacks and two other tackles for lost yardage. Coleman was also credited with four quarterback pressures.
He also blocked a PAT attempt by Joshua Shene that was returned for a defensive two-point conversion by Demond Washington to put up Auburn 33-20 in the third quarter.
Antonio Coleman tackles Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead.
Coleman now has 20 career sacks, which is fifth in Auburn history. He passed Reggie Torbor on Saturday. The record is 26 shared by Quentin Groves and Gerald Robinson.
“We started on Sunday after the LSU game preparing, watching film and trying to build our confidence,” Coleman said. “The coaches made sure that we kept having fun. We want to send the seniors out on the right note with these final games.”
Another senior, Ben Tate, received honorable mention for the SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor after rushing for 144 yards. The award went to Mississippi State senior Anthony Dixon who rushed for a school-record 252 yards in his team’s 31-24 victory over Kentucky.
The Tigers, who are 6-3, return to action at 12:30 p.m. CST on Saturday with their Homecoming game against the 4-4 Furman Paladins.
McFadden said picking up the victory over Ole Miss was very important for the Tigers. “The win really gives the team confidence going into the end of the season,” he said. “It shows character after losing three straight. It shows that we have the same character we did when we were 5-0.”
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