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Auburn’s defense shows out against Texas A&M, secures Cadillac’s first win

AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - In possibly the most anticipated night in Auburn football this year, it ended with Carnell "Cadillac" Williams drenched in Gatorade as players jumped into the student section to celebrate in front of a sold-out crowd of 87,451 fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn's defense would lead the way to a 13-10 victory in a battle against the Texas A&M Aggies, securing the first win since September.

Colby Wooden stamped his name on the game with possibly the biggest play of the night.

With just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Wooden would go and strip-sack Texas A&M quarterback Conner Weigman, which would lead to fellow defensive lineman Morris Joseph Jr. landing on the loose ball to gain possession back for the Tigers.

"Big-time play by Colby," Williams said. "I mean, wow. Tempers were flaring, you know, guys, you could tell, guys started barking at the offense. Them defensive guys, they've always been that way. They're always barking at the offense. We kind of stalled there in the third quarter, but to have that young man make that play, in my four years being here with him and seeing him grow as a young man to what he has done (and) the leader that he is, I'm so happy for him.

Wooden reportedly said what he was going to do to fellow teammates before it happened.

"He said he was going to do a club and rip," Auburn linebacker Cam Riley said. "Nobody in the huddle was really paying attention. The next play, he went out and did exactly what he said he was going to do."

The turnover would set up freshman kicker Alex McPherson to attempt a field goal that would ultimately put Auburn up 13-3 with 3:02 remaining to give the Tigers a crucial double-digit lead. McPherson would finish 2-for-3 from 24 and 36 yards out, while his lone miss would come from 54 yards.

"I don't think it was just me," McPherson said. "I think the field goals did make the difference in the end, but the strip sack from Colby, and then when Moe got on it, and it allowed us to get those three points at the end."

Texas A&M scored a touchdown late in the game off an 80-yard drive, but it was all for nothing due to Wooden's strip-sack that would lead to McPherson's made field goal.

"I was shook about it," Riley said. "I'm still shook right now that he actually did that."

Auburn's defense would have their best SEC performance since 2011 against Florida, as they would hold the Aggies to just 215 yards, with only 94 of those yards on the ground.

"We knew coming out that they wanted to run the ball. We knew that if we got in a third and long we were going to pin our ears back and rush. It was about playing consistent defense and playing together," Auburn captain Derick Hall said. "It was overall a great team defense effort."

The Tigers would benefit from big nights courtesy of Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, who both finished with 121 yards. Bigsbey would have his longest play on a gain of 39 yards in the first quarter where, if looking carefully, you could see Williams running stride for stride with him all the way down the sideline.

"Let me tell you something about them too. I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to coach two guys, high-character young men, who this whole time has let me pour into their lives and be vulnerable," Williams said. "A lot of times they get frustrated with me, but like I told them man, 'I love you guys too much to just see you go through the motions or not give your all each and every day.' And to see how Tank Bigsby done grew from a freshman to now, that's everything."