May 27, 2024

Bo Nix finally living up to his five-star billing this fall

Auburn Tigers Football

Photo courtesy of the Citrus Bowl

He’s one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the SEC, who finally showed the league what he’s capable of.

Bo Nix resembled Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson with the way he extended plays and the clutch throws he made in Auburn’s win over LSU last week. It was the Tigers’ first win at Death Valley since 1999, and now they’ve got a ton of momentum approaching game six against the No. 2 team in the country.

Nix began the season on fire, with five touchdown passes through Auburn’s first two games. He went through a dry spell against Penn State and Georgia State, and scored no touchdowns. However, the Alabama native had his coming out party at Tiger Stadium.

The six-foot-three, 214-pound Nix displayed leadership, perseverance and determination throughout the contest. Nix had ice water in his veins when Auburn (4-1) entered the fourth quarter and was down two scores. The former five-star prospect orchestrated two long touchdown drives in the final period that put the Tigers ahead for good, and changed the narrative on his legacy.

Now Nix and the 21st-ranked Tigers are riding a big wave of momentum back to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Georgia (5-0) has the nation’s best defense and it’s going to be a tall order for Nix to execute against a front seven full of NFL talent.

Not to mention Nix has never defeated the Bulldogs in his career. As a matter of fact, Auburn has lost seven of the last eight games in this series, including four-straight. Still, the Tigers have enough weapons on offense to make the Bulldogs’ defense sweat a little.

Running back Tank Bigsby hasn’t suffered a sophomore slump after being named the SEC’s co-Offensive Freshman of the Year last season. He has eclipsed the century mark in rushing three times this fall and now has seven 100-yard games under his belt. Bigsby is one of the reasons Nix hasn’t had to use his legs much in 2021.

Instead of carrying the ball numerous times throughout games, which causes wear and tear on a signal-caller, Nix mainly uses his mobility to extend plays and move the chains. Auburn has a plethora of receivers for Nix to spread the ball around to. There’s plenty of options in the signal-caller’s arsenal, and he has made other offensive players around him better.

Kobe Hudson, Shedrick Jackson and John Samuel Shenker have all contributed heavily in the Tigers’ passing attack. First-year coach Bryan Harsin is about to experience his first rodeo through the SEC meat grinder. So far, Nix has made it a smooth transition for Harsin, considering he came from the Mountain West to the almighty SEC.

The remaining schedule is daunting enough for any Power Five team, considering it includes the reigning National Champs and three squads that are currently ranked.

Regardless, Nix’s experience, production and leadership should have Harsin feeling optimistic down the stretch. After all, he has a surging veteran quarterback, speed at the skill positions and an attacking defense. Most importantly, the Tigers are back to playing with confidence, and the Bulldogs are catching them at the right time.

A win over Georgia Saturday would put Auburn in the AP top-10 for the first time in over a year.