It was a heart-warming spectacle in Jordan-Hare Stadium after Auburn's 13-10 win last week over Texas A&M.
After all, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams had just posted his first victory as a head coach.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak by the Tigers (4-6) and kept the team's slim bowl chances alive.
Auburn will try to start a winning streak when it hosts Western Kentucky (7-4) on Saturday. Williams is 1-1 as the Tigers' interim coach; he took over the job when Bryan Harsin was fired on Oct. 31.
Senior captain Derick Hall made Auburn's victory over Texas A&M that much sweeter when he presented Williams, one of Auburn's all-time greatest players, with a souvenir.
"Coach, we want to thank you for the sacrifices, you coming in and stepping in for this team," Hall said. "You serving and believing in us. Every single day you come to work to see us get better and Auburn get better and get it back to where it needs to be. I know you say it isn't all about you, but tonight we want to present you with the game ball."
Jarquez Hunter and Tank Bigsby each rushed for 121 yards to lead Auburn. Quarterback Robby Ashford completed only 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards and a score.
The Tigers' run game could prove problematic for a Western Kentucky defense that allowed 165 rushing yards in a 45-10 win over Rice last week.
But the Hilltoppers are rolling offensively. The team ranks fourth in the country in passing offense (336.3 yards per game) and is 15th in scoring offense at 37.9 points an outing.
Leading that offense is quarterback Austin Reed, who has passed for 3,550 yards and 31 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, and trails only Washington's Michael Penix Jr. by 90 yards for the most passing yards in the country this season.
"We just play our brand of football and go out there and put points on the board," Reed said.
His favorite target has been sophomore Malachi Corley, who has 70 receptions for 953 yards and seven touchdowns.
--Field Level Media
Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.