Auburn's Duke Williams delivers in the clutch
Sept. 19, 2014

DukeWilliams
Duke Williams makes a clutch catch late to help Auburn put away Kansas State
 
By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com
 
MANHATTAN, Kansas  Duke Williams didn't want to be left thinking about the one that got away.
 
Quarterback Nick Marshall, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and coach Gus Malzahn made sure that didn't happen, because even after Williams dropped what surely would have been a touchdown catch early, the three principals in Auburn's passing game made sure he would keep getting the ball.

Auburn was rewarded for its faith when Williams caught a 9-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, and then helped put Kansas State away 20-14 Thursday night with a nice catch on a gutsy third-and-9 call with less than three minutes to play.
 
Auburn had considered running the ball on that play to make sure it would eat time off the clock if it didn't pick up the first down. But Auburn passed it.
 
"Do we want to run the ball or do we want to pass the ball? I was like, 'Just give me a chance,'" Williams said "I felt like he'd bite on the slant, and when I ran the slant, he bit on it and I had enough room to catch the ball."
 
Auburn ran out the clock after that. 
 
"I just had to let my teammates know I just made a mistake in that first half. I had to redeem myself," Williams said.

Williams would finish with eight catches for 110 yards, sort of like the gaudy numbers in the first game when he caught nine passes for 154 yards. But for part of this Thursday, and though he wasn't the only receiver with a drop, Williams was trying to make amends.
 
Williams caught the touchdown pass that put Auburn up 20-7 early in the fourth quarter before catching the long keep-away pass that effectively ended the game.
 
"We believe in our guys," Lashlee said. "Nick made a bad throw. We've got keep throwing it. Duke will drop a ball. We've got to keep coming back to him. Those things are going to happen in games."
 
Williams would finish with eight catches for 110 yards, sort of like the gaudy numbers in the first game when he caught nine passes for 154 yards. But for part of this Thursday, and though he wasn't the only receiver with a drop, Williams was thinking about the one that got away.
 
"I had to make it up because I had a bad first half," he said. "Coaches were like, 'Get your head back in the game.' And my teammates kept encouraging me to get back in the game. 'We believe in you.' Once I felt all of that, I was back to my old self."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:

 

 

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