AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Carnell Williams' first touchdown was
probably his best, a tackle-breaking, 72-yarder in the opening
Williams added five more TDs and broke the school record as Auburn (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) beat Mississippi State 45-13 on Saturday.
Mississippi State and Kevin Fant might have had a chance if Carnell Williams hadn't kept getting the ball.
"That long run was about as pretty as they get," Auburn coach
Tommy Tuberville said.
Williams had five touchdowns in the first half in a scoring
spree even Auburn's most famous back, Bo Jackson -- watching from a
luxury suite -- never managed.
"That's the most I've ever scored," said Williams, who broke
Joe Cribbs' 25-year-old school record and gained 161 yards despite
carrying only twice in the second half. Williams scored his six TDs
on just 15 carries.
Brandon Jacobs carried 31 times for a career-high 182 yards for
the Tigers (5-2, 4-0 SEC), who have won five straight in their
drive for the SEC West title.
The blowout came a day after Mississippi State coach Jackie
Sherrill announced he would retire following the season, his 13th
with the Bulldogs (2-5, 1-2), and emphasized just how far the
program has fallen in recent years.
Sherrill declined to discuss his decision to retire, but wasn't
nearly so reticent about the Tigers.
"We felt Auburn may be the best team we've seen this year," he
said. "They dominated us on both sides of the ball right off the
bat. They attacked us at all angles and we didn't do a good job of
Mississippi State has lost 10 straight SEC road games and
trailed 38-7 by halftime, unable to even slow Williams and Jacobs
or sustain anything offensively.
Tuberville and Sherrill developed a rivalry during the Auburn
coach's days at Mississippi. They only spoke briefly after the
"Obviously he decided he'd had enough," Tuberville said.
"That's about all I can say."
Williams broke the record with a 6-yarder with 3:01 left in the
third after Jacobs did most of the work moving downfield.
He was only the third player in SEC history to score six
touchdowns, joining Madre Hill of Arkansas and Mississippi's
Showboat Boykin, the latter holding the league mark with seven
against Mississippi State in 1951.
Auburn rushed for 405 yards on 56 carries, the most since the
Tigers gained 413 against Florida State in 1985. The Tigers had 410
total yards before halftime.
"We've just got this vibe going, that we're going to go out
Saturday and get it done," Williams said.
He got it going with a dazzling 72-yarder early, bowling over
linebacker Clarence McDougal downfield and winning a footrace for
the end zone.
"Those guys up front, they just came off the ball," said
Williams, who had four-touchdown days in high school and junior
high. "They got me to the second defender, and it's always my job
to make that guy miss or run over him."
Williams also scored on runs of 3, 22, 17 and 2 yards in the
first 18 minutes and had 154 yards.
It was the first time the Tigers have had two 100-yard rushers
since 1995, when Stephen Davis and Eric Hines-Tucker did it against
Northeast Louisiana. Jacobs, a junior college transfer, was subbing
for injured second-teamer Ronnie Brown.
The Bulldogs got Nick Turner's 77-yard TD run in the first
quarter, but little else in the first half. Fant, the league's No.
2 passer, was 8-of-22 for 73 yards with an interception.
"They knocked me dizzy," Fant said. "They are a great, big,
The Tigers started racking up the big plays early, getting three
of 30 or more in the first quarter.
Williams has gained 517 yards in the past three games and could
claim his third straight SEC offensive player of the week honor.
"Auburn's offensive line beat our defensive line badly,"
Bulldogs linebacker T.J. Mawhinney said. "They dominated us from
the start of the game to the finish."