Two weeks ago, Auburn football was in a bad place. They just lost yet another game in grueling fashion. The stands were over half-empty as the clock hit zero. Fans were openly stating they did not think they could endure another home game this season. Frustration loomed large over both the Auburn football team and the Auburn fanbase.
The following Monday, President Chris Roberts decided to move on from Head Coach Bryan Harsin. The timing of the move came as a shock to many, and for a few hours the question of who would lead the Auburn football team the rest of the season was unknown.
For Interim Athletics Director Rich Mcglynn, it was an easy decision. The man to guide Auburn through the rest of the 2022 was the one and only Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. There was no doubt Williams could rally this Auburn football team.
Despite the disappointment that the season had been to this point, there was confidence that Williams would once again bring life to the team and the fanbase. He did it as a player, why couldn't he do it as a coach? The hiring of Cadillac Williams as Interim Head Coach immediately energized the fanbase.
The same fans, who just a few days earlier announced they would not go to another home game this season, did not give a second thought towards attending the game now. After a hard fought loss at Mississippi State, the Tigers got to return home to face Texas A&M. Cadillac Williams was going to get to make his home debut as Auburn's Interim Head Coach. The atmosphere from Tiger Walk until the end of the game was electric, and there was no doubt the night would be special.
Besides Coach Cadillac's home debut, the defense dominated the story of this game. Auburn's defense only gave up 215 yards to Texas A&M. The biggest play of the game came when Colby Wooden strip sacked Connor Weigman. The play led to an Auburn field goal that put the Tigers up 13-3 late in the fourth quarter.
"I'm so happy for him." said Williams "I always love to watch the defense play." For Williams, he certainly got to witness an outstanding performance.
As for the offense in this game, quarterback Robby Ashford completed a touchdown pass to Ja'Varrius Johnson late in the first quarter to put the Tigers up 7-0. After that, both teams would exchange a slew of three and outs before freshman kicker Alex McPherson made a 48 yard field goal at the end of the third quarter to put Auburn up 10-0. McPherson, who was making his debut tonight in place of the injured Anders Carlson, like his head coach was "living his dream" tonight.
"Your little kid inside of you gets really giddy," said McPherson. "You just have so much fun."
After an Auburn turnover, A&M would kick a field goal to get within ten early in the fourth. McPherson would add another field goal later in the game to once again extend the lead to ten. A&M scored a touchdown with a minute and a half left in the game, but at that point it was too late. Coach Cadillac Williams would have his first win as Interim Head Coach.
After the game ended, the players immediately ran to the student section to celebrate. Coach Cadillac was given a gatorade bath, and joy returned to Auburn. Coach Cadillac was rewarded with the game ball by the players in the locker room. He, however, does not feel as if he deserves the credit.
"I get so much credit and it's a shame," said Williams. "I was scared as a puppy last week." What calmed his nerves this week? His running backs.
"They told me to be me," said Williams. "I could see how bad they wanted me to succeed." It was not just the running backs that wanted Coach Cadillac to succeed. It was the whole Auburn family.
Now that Williams secured his first win as Auburn's Interim Head Coach, the Tigers will look to continue their success. They are back at home next weekend against Western Kentucky. In order to become bowl eligible, they will need to win their final two games. Does Auburn have that in them? Only time will tell, but what we do know is joy for Auburn football is back.