Auburn struggling to get the ball into the hands of Duke Williams

Four games into the season and Williams only has 11 receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown.
John Reed/John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Williams came back to Auburn for his senior year to be the focus of the team’s offense, it goes without saying that hasn’t even come close to happening for the talented receiver. 

To this point, opposing defenses are focusing in on Williams and making the other receivers on Auburn’s roster beat them, a point his coach made during his Wednesday press conference.

"We were trying to get it to him early (against Mississippi State) and there was some double coverage issues," Gus Malzahn said. "He’s one of the impact players, there’s no doubt, and we need to find a way not only to get the ball to him; but there’s three or four others that I really feel like we need to do a better job of getting the ball to also."

The Tigers currently rank 12th in the SEC in passing, a major reason for that is their inability to get the ball into Williams’ hands. Now with redshirt freshman Sean White in the lineup, the offense’s major priority is making sure the young quarterback is comfortable and doesn’t get them beat. 

"A lot of times if they’re double covered, the quarterback should go somewhere else where somebody else is open," Malzahn said. "We need to be a little more creative to get guys open. But at the same time when you’ve got a new starting quarterback there’s a little bit of (you) want to make sure that he’s comfortable."

Expect Auburn to force feed Williams if necessary against San Jose State, as the preseason All-American is talented enough to beat two San Jose State defenders on any given play. Getting their No. 1 target going is paramount to the team’s success once SEC play once again resumes. 

If Williams can’t get it going at home against the Spartans, it will be fair to ask if he ever will this season. 

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