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.
"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.