The Auburn Tigers first-team offense, led by starting quarterback Nick Marshall, put on the best show of all the spring games so far in 2014. They looked more dangerous than ever–which is scary to think of considering the damage they did last season–and a good reason for that was what looked like a revitalized passing game.
Last season the Tigers built a lot off the running efforts of Tre Mason, but on Saturday we saw that Marshall will be called upon at times to take over the game with his arm and the help of his receiving crew, and no one made a bigger impact in the receiving game on Saturday than junior D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams.
Williams caught five passes for 88 yards and a touchdown, but the one touchdown pass that he did catch highlighted what he’s going to bring to the table this season, and very well may have been the play of the afternoon inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The ball was beautifully placed by Marshall, but the concentration on the catch from Williams was phenomenal and he will be a nightmare for opposing SEC defenses inside the red zone this season.
After the game, head coach Gus Malzahn explained Williams about the only way that one could–he’s a playmaker.
“He is a playmaker, there is no doubt,” Malzahn told AL.com.
Marshall chimed in with his thoughts by noting that it’s nice to have someone like Williams around in the passing game, because when he’s in trouble out of the pocket, he knows that Williams will be open somewhere.
“It’s just that when I’m flushed out of the pocket, he knows how to get in my line of sight,” Marshall said.
Again, last season the focus was on the running game for the Tigers. The passing attack for Auburn wasn’t horrible by any means, but it wasn’t a huge point of focus.
This season, however, SEC defenders had better keep it a point of focus and keep someone on Williams at all times.
Actually, you might need two defenders to cover this guy.