By Charles Goldberg
NEW ORLEANS — Montravius Adams wants his final college game to be something special. He says teaming up with Carl Lawson in Auburn's defensive line a final time will help make that so.
The pair, who caused havoc for opposing offenses during the regular season, will play together for the last time against Oklahoma in Monday's Sugar Bowl. It'll be the final time, for sure, because Adams is a senior who will head to the NFL. It's the final time because Lawson, a redshirt junior, is projected as a first-round NFL pick and could turn pro.
Rodney Garner, Auburn's defensive line coach, says Adams and Lawson deserve to finish the season on top.
"They are high character men. They've done an outstanding job for Auburn," Garner said. "It's good to see when guys trust the process and the buy in and they do what you ask them to do, to see them have success is rewarding for me. That's the reason I got into this."
Adams has 39 tackles, including 8½ for a loss. Lawson has 28 tackles, including a team-best 12½ for a loss. They've combined for 13½ sacks.
Now, they'll take aim on a high-powered offense that features two of the five Heisman Trophy finalists in quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Dede Westbrook. Throw in two good running backs, and Oklahoma figures to keep Adams, Lawson and the rest of Auburn's defense busy.
That should get the competitive juices flowing between Adams and Lawson.
"He likes to get sacks; I want to beat him in everything. He wants to beat me the same way," Adams said. "We're always working together.
"At the end of the day, I feel like we make each other better when both of us are on the field. It's kind of bad for the other teams."
The two had their highlight-reel moment against Mississippi State when Lawson caused a fumble and Adams scooped up the ball and scored.
Adams began to describe his relationship with Lawson as "big brother/little brother," but decided "it's just a real close bond."
The bond was strong. But the two didn't play a full season together until this year. Lawson missed all the 2014 season because of an injury, and half of 2015, too.
But they'll be together for one game in 2016, and that's coming Monday.
"It's been a great thing for me. I'm just happy to have him. He's my brother," Adams said. "I've known him since my 11th grade year in high school. To try to finish a game like this, at a time like this, is really just great."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine