ATHENS – Auburn’s football is on fire in anticipation of rival Georgia coming to town for a showdown on The Plains on Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
A national television audience will watch at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday when the No.2 ranked Bulldogs appear to remain perfect against the No.18 Tigers (4-1).
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Tigers quarterback Bo Nix will look forward to home court advantage as much as anyone in his squad, as his numbers are noticeably higher within the confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium than on the road.
Nix has 20 TD assists and one interception in home games, but on the road, 14 TD assists and 12 steals.
“When a team like Georgia that has been very successful and is really good, and is going to come in very well prepared, very well trained, and I think a field advantage like Auburn would mean a lot to us players , “Nix said, per AL.com.
The best way to describe Auburn’s quarterback situation, I think, is that this is Bo Nix’s squad – at least until it isn’t. Yes, he wrestled against Georgia State and was benched, but that says something he didn’t sulk or whatever after TJ Finley led this comeback.
Instead, he got back to work and won the start against LSU last week. Then this performance has happened. It was far from perfect (look at the completion percentage), but it was the best performance of his career, and I think he earned a lot of respect from his team for his game in Death. Valley.
While Nix has remained Auburn’s starter, I think the team feel good about their save situation with Finley – and if Nix struggles again like he did a few weeks ago, I don’t think so. not that Bryan Harsin will hesitate to make the switch.
2. What is Auburn’s greatest team strength?
The greatest strength of this Auburn team is their linebackers, if / when the unit is perfectly healthy. Zakoby McClain is on the warpath this season after leading the nation in tackles and being snubbed of any sort of playoff recognition. Owen Pappoe is a team captain for a reason and has been a Day 1 starter since 2019, but has suffered a leg injury in the past two weeks.
Chandler Wooten returned after retiring last season (pending the birth of his first child) and has been more productive than ever while being elected team captain. These guys have unreal chemistry on the pitch together, and they really set the tone for the rest of the defense.
3. What is the Tigers’ greatest weakness?
Auburn’s secondary has had its fair share of issues this season, but it’s hard not to point out wide receivers as the biggest weakness right now. The group has lost a lot from last season – Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz and Eli Stove – and struggled to stay consistent this fall.
There’s a reason Harsin pulled the trigger and fired first-year receiver coach Cornelius Williams after just four games. The unit is still in development and guys like Kobe Hudson and Georgia are transferring Demetris Robertson, but receivers still have a way to go.
4. What are some of the biggest differences for the team with Harsin versus Gus Malzahn, in terms of offensive and defensive identity?
Offensively, look no further than the tight end position. Gus Malzahn rarely used tight ends, and when he did, they were mostly blockers. Under Harsin, Auburn’s main receiver in five games is tight end John Samuel Shenker, who just finished the first 100-yard game for an Auburn tight end in 27 years.
Using this stance really changes the dynamics of Auburn’s offense, especially in the intermediate passing game. Defensively, Mason covers a lot more area in the secondary compared to the press man we are used to seeing under Kevin Steele. It hasn’t always benefited Auburn this season as the secondary has struggled to adjust to the zone’s philosophy.
5. How do you see this game going on The Plains on Saturday afternoon?
I think Auburn’s defense should hold up well in Georgia’s running game; the Tigers have been excellent against the run this year, outside of halftime against Georgia State. But, man, I don’t know if Auburn’s offense will be able to break through that Georgian defense and score enough points to cause surprise. Sadly, stranger things have happened at Jordan-Hare Stadium.