Auburn Football: Players of the Game vs Kansas State

3 of 7

Sep 18, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver D’haquille Williams (1) makes a catch against Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Danzel McDaniel (7) during a 20-14 Tigers win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

D’haquille Williams

Against Kansas State, Williams made one of the biggest plays of the night when he scored on a nine-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. The TD catch pushed the Tigers lead to 17-7, a point at which it was out of reach for the Wildcats.

More from Auburn Football

However, the biggest catch Williams made Thursday occurred with 2:06 left in the game. It was a 39-yard reception that allowed Auburn to convert a 3rd-and-9 to seal the victory. After beating K-State on slants throughout the game, the coaching staff had Williams run a double move that appeared to be a slant at first before the junior turned his route up field.

“It’s going to be there,” Williams told Malzahn. “We ran regular slant, regular slant. I knew [Kansas State defensive back Danzel McDaniel] was going to bite on it because how many times I caught the slant.”

The bulk of Williams’ 111 yards and eight catches against the Wildcats came via the slant, and the Tigers used that to their advantage when it mattered most. The “sluggo,” or slant and go, was the perfect call to beat K-State’s man-to-man coverage and secure the 20-14 win. Williams was not perfect, however, he did drop a pass in the second quarter.

“I had to make up for it because I had a bad first half,” Williams 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.”

His “old self” has been great so far. Through three games as an Auburn Tiger, Williams has 21 catches for 324 yards (a 15.4 yards per catch average) and two touchdowns. Ricardo Louis is the team’s second leading pas catcher with six, and Melvin Ray ranks second with 107 yards. Needless to say, Williams has been the go to receiver for Auburn so far in 2014.