Auburn Football: Factors that led to Cornelius Williams firing after week 4

Auburn Football: Factors that led to Cornelius Williams firing after week 4

Sep 25, 2021; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin watches his team in warm ups before the game against the Georgia Sate Panthers at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn football officially announced on Sunday afternoon that first-year wide receivers coach Cornelius Williams has been fired after only four games in the 2021 season. This comes after Auburn only mustered one offensive touchdown against Georgia State in a 34-24 win this Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Williams previously served as the wide receivers coach at Troy, but was hired by Bryan Harsin in January and signed a 2-year contract worth $600,000, which came with a buyout according to Auburn Undercover. Before his time at Troy, Williams served as the wide receivers coach at UAB and also served the same role at Jacksonville State (2014), North Alabama (2013), & Murray State (2012).

Eric Kiesau will take over the vacant wide receivers coach role for the Tigers for the rest of the season. Kiesau was originally an offensive analyst for Auburn football and was brought to Auburn by Harsin from Boise State. He served as the offensive coordinator at Boise State from 2019-2020, in which the Broncos averaged over 400 yards of offense and scored over 30 points per game in that period.

The Auburn wide receivers have struggled throughout the first four games of the season, which was a predicted weak spot for this Auburn football team in the preseason due to inexperience after multiple key departures. The wide receiving group did not have a single player returning with double-digit catches coming into the 2021 season, which was a huge concern for many fans and experts.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kobe Hudson is the only Auburn football wide receiver with a receiving grade above 80.0, and every other wide receiver on the roster grades below 70.0 for the season. This unit has also struggled with drops and generating separation all season and has combined for 9 drops so far this year.

Bryan Harsin has made a giant statement this weekend by benching 2-year starter Bo Nix and now firing an assistant coach only four weeks into the season. Harsin wants to set a standard for Auburn football and has made it clear that those who do not meet this standard will be held accountable regardless of their status in the program.

Auburn football looks ahead to a huge matchup in Death Valley this weekend in a primetime matchup (8 pm/CT on ESPN) against LSU. Will the move pay off for the Tigers? Time will tell and this weekend will be a huge test for the Tigers, who are looking for their first win in Baton Rouge since 1999.