12:30 PM ET, October 11, 2003
Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Carnell "Cadillac" Williams lifted resurgent Auburn into serious contention in the SEC West.
Williams ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries as Auburn beat No. 7 Arkansas 10-3 on Saturday. He opened the game with a 44-yard run and had a key 1-yard plunge to keep a late scoring drive alive.
"Cadillac" Williams had 124 yards in the first half.
"The thing about (Williams) is he's durable," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "He has as much energy in the fourth quarter as he does in the first."
And while Williams was leading the offense, Auburn (4-2, 3-0) shut down the Southeastern Conference's top rushing attack. Cedric Cobbs, the league's top rusher, was held to 78 yards -- 62 below his average. Arkansas (4-1, 1-1) entered the game averaging 247.8 yards on the ground, but Williams stole the attention.
"Ever since I've been running the rock, I never let one guy make the tackle," Williams said.
He opened the game with a 44-yard run and had 124 yards by halftime for the Tigers.
In addition to having the game's only touchdown, Williams' 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-1 kept a drive alive at the Tigers 45 just after Arkansas had narrowed the score to 7-3. Seven plays later, John Vaughn kicked a 34-yard field goal to put Auburn up 10-3 with 9:50 left in the game.
"What a day for us," Tuberville said. "We didn't make mistakes and we didn't get foolish penalties."
But Arkansas did.
A pair of holding penalties on receiver George Wilson wiped out two long Arkansas runs -- a 68-yarder by Cobbs in the third quarter and a 78-yarder by quarterback Matt Jones that would have tied the game a minute after Vaughn's field goal.
"We could have been in there hooting and hollering if we don't have two flags on the ground," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said.
"I want them to remember the celebrations for four weeks, and the sick feeling this is," added Nutt, whose team rode victories at Texas and Alabama to a No. 7 ranking.
On the would-be TD run, Wilson went low against Junior Rosegreen and appeared to tangle up the defensive back's ankles as Rosegreen turned to chase Jones.
"It was a dirty play," Rosegreen said. "The receiver grabbed my ankle and twisted it hard."
The Razorbacks still managed to drive deep after the penalty on Jones' run, but Jones fumbled when Auburn linebacker Travis Williams slapped at the ball. Rosegreen recovered at the 9.
Auburn failed to gain a first down and Arkansas started a drive from the Auburn 47, but linebacker Karlos Dansby sacked Jones on a fourth-and-8 from the Auburn 35 with 2:30 left.
Williams, who had 185 yards in Auburn's 28-21 victory over Tennessee last week, often carried for 5 or more yards on first down, giving the Tigers more options on second and third.
Williams' 6-yard touchdown run off right tackle ended a first half that included both teams mixing a few splashes of expertise into a general sloppiness.
The Auburn touchdown, which gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead, ended a 41-yard drive set up by a personal foul penalty against Tom Crowder, who hit punt returner Tre Smith out of bounds.
Campbell hit Jeris McIntyre on a slant from the left side, gaining 20, after the Tigers' started their drive with 1:19 left in the second quarter. Williams ran 16 yards to the Arkansas 5 and after a loss of a yard and a timeout, he ran behind a two-tight end setup for the score.
Auburn's first drive died after the Tigers had reached the Arkansas 16, when quarterback Jason Campbell threw his first interception in four games.
On third-and-15 from the 21, Jeb Huckeba, dragging Campbell by the back of his shoulder pads, forced a wild throw. Tony Bua, as if waiting on a punt, intercepted easily at the Razorback 6.
Arkansas missed its best chance to score in the first half after Jones underthrew a wide-open Chris Baker. Baker made the catch for a 33-yard gain, but having to wait on the ball gave Rosegreen a chance to catch up and stop Baker at the Auburn 20. Chris Balseiro pushed a 35-yard field goal to the left four plays later.
In the second period, Arkansas drove to the Auburn 36 but was unable to pick up 4 inches in two tries. De'Arrius Howard lost a half-yard on third down and on his next try lunged and fell backward on the pile, well short of a first down.