One week after D.J. Williams had a breakout game against LSU, the true freshman running back followed it with a new career highlight.
Williams found the end zone for the first time in his career against Ole Miss, scoring on a one-yard run that gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead with 2:34 left until halftime. Williams was Auburn’s top tailback for the second straight week and ended the game with 24 carries for 93 yards and the one score.
Williams was especially helpful for Auburn in the third quarter on a scoring drive that was a big blow to the Rebels’ hopes for a road victory. Auburn’s 13-play, 54-yard drive to start the second half saw Williams take six carries for 35 yards before quarterback Bo Nix scored to make the score 17-7 against an Ole Miss offense that could not get going.
Williams signed with Auburn as a four-star recruit last December. The 5-foot-10, 216-pound freshman joined the Tigers after rushing for 1,221 yards and 21 touchdowns and passing for 1,113 yards and 13 touchdowns at Sebring High School in Sebring, Fla.
Davidson, Dinson out
Auburn played shorthanded on defense without two of its senior leaders and two of its standout players.
Senior defensive end Marlon Davidson and senior safety Jeremiah Dinson both missed the game as neither of them dressed out. Davidson did not play due to tightness in his lower back, school officials announced in the press box after kickoff. Dinson did not play due to a virus.
Derick Hall started in place of Davidson on the defensive line, moving up in the line’s rotation. In the defensive backfield, sophomore safety Jamien Sherwood took the first snap opposite senior safety Daniel Thomas to start in Dinson’s place, with sophomore Smoke Monday seeing plenty of action, as well.
Davidson and Dinson have both earned SEC positional player of the week honors this season. They have been standouts and vocal leaders for the Auburn defense all year.
Brahms gets start
Auburn redshirt sophomore center Nick Brahms started at center for Auburn, in place of senior center Kaleb Kim.
Kim sent a snap wide of quarterback Bo Nix in Auburn’s last game against LSU before the Ole Miss game.
Brahms entered the season with playing experience under his belt, having played in place of an injured Kim at times in the 2018 season.
His play at center gave fans a first look at the future of the offensive line behind the five seniors who started in all five spots along the offensive line going into this season.
Brahms will be a redshirt junior next year, the heir apparent to taking the starting job in the middle of the new-look offensive line in 2020.
Joiner gets involved with big play
After a quiet first eight games this season, Auburn redshirt freshman running back Harold Joiner came through with plays when the Tigers needed them Saturday.
Joiner got in the mix in Auburn’s 20-14 victory over the Rebels thanks to a game-changing play just before the half. With Auburn leading Ole Miss 3-0 with a little over two minutes left in the second quarter, Joiner caught a pass from Bo Nix and took off downfield for a 78-yard gain on what stands as the Tigers’ longest pass play of 2019.
Joiner’s catch set up D.J. Williams’ one-yard rushing touchdown one play later to put Auburn up 10-0.
Joiner’s efforts were part of a victory in which the Tigers used several different running backs. Joiner was one of five Tigers who took at least one carry against Ole Miss, joined by Williams, Kam Martin, Shaun Shivers and Anthony Schwartz.