Category Archives: Auburn’s Cast of Thousands

TFW you run out of moves

I’ve watched some of the highlights from the Auburn game and the most cringeworthy moment from the broadcast is Rick Neuheisel excitedly burping about Bo Nix: “he’s going Manziel!”.

Yeah, right.

17 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

When in doubt…

Your team got blown up on both lines of scrimmage, you finished the game with a 97.97 passer rating, but if only the refs had been fair:

Nix lobbied with a referee after the play, and proceeded to sound off further in his postgame interview.

“The guy completely grabs him,” Nix said of the sequence in the end zone. “I thought it should’ve definitely been a pass interference. It’s just stuff like that that we don’t ever get that changes the game.

“Obviously, if that would’ve been them, they probably would’ve called it. But that’s just part of the game and part of the rivalry.”

When asked to elaborate, Nix said it was par for the course that Auburn would be denied a pass-interference call in a big game, and that maybe his teammates in the secondary should have played more aggressive on the ball, if penalties weren’t going to be called often.

“I always feel like there are some questionable calls in big moments,” Nix said. “Obviously, there were a few today that I thought could have gone differently. I thought the one to (Capers) there at the end of the half, that was just kind of one of those judgment calls that was tough. It’s hard to make a play on the ball when they’re that aggressive.

“So I guess the officials were letting us play today. We should’ve been more aggressive on our end, I guess, and seen how they would’ve responded to that.”

Makes sense, Bo.  After all, your team was responding so well to everything else in that game.

51 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Of all the quarterbacks Georgia’s faced, he’s certainly one of them.

Talk about damning with faint praise:

Bo Nix may be the best quarterback No. 2 Georgia faces this season. That’s no slight to No. 19 Auburn’s signal caller, who has endured an infamous roller-meet-coaster career. It’s almost an indictment of the game in 2021.

Dodd does highlight one surprising stat — Nix is one of two SEC quarterbacks yet to throw an interception this season.  Considering the amount of freelancing he does, that’s almost miraculous.

15 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

On the edge

Jake Rowe compares position groups for tomorrow’s game and doesn’t find a single one where Auburn has the advantage.  Final tally:  Georgia 5, Push 4.  Now that doesn’t fully paint the picture, as it’s a comparison of units as opposed to how the teams will actually face off, but, still, it adds up to a talent advantage for the visitors.

Looking at that, I’ve got two questions about Auburn’s game plan tomorrow.  One is on offense, where Harsin knows what he’s up against, but still wants to test Georgia’s run defense.

“You’re going to have to win some of those one-on-one matchups,” Harsin said. “They do have very good depth, they’re very good up front. You still have to scheme for that, so you just can’t give up on that because they have good players, and they have depth. You’re going to scheme, you’re going to have a plan and then you’re going to work on the things that you have to do that week in order to make that play or that plan you have with your offense successful.”

“Everybody wants to try to run the football, and so you still want to be able to run it,” Harsin said. “You’ve got to be able to handle those guys up front. We’ve got to do a great job at O-line, tight ends being able to get up to those linebackers as well so you can run it. So that just in itself is a challenge.”

Run the damned ball, Bobo.  Seriously, I get why Harsin’s saying that.  Auburn’s basically averaging about the same yardage per run play as it is per pass attempt.  He can’t just abandon that.  (Of course, that’s the same thinking Sam Pittman had the week before, and look where that got him.)

On defense, Derek Mason’s got a choice.  Does he sit back in coverage and make Georgia nibble down the field, or does he challenge the Dawgs’ offensive line, play man coverage and make Stetson Bennett beat him over the top?  It’s a pick your poison scenario.  Arkansas tried the former and Monken took the run all game long.  UAB went the latter route and Bennett had a career game.

My personal feeling is that, given the talent disadvantage, Harsin knows he’s got to gamble and force the action somewhat, so I expect Auburn to be more aggressive on defense than Arky was.  I do think he wants some traction from his running game, but even on offense, I expect he’ll want to take his share of shots and trick plays.

65 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Embracing the suck… er, chaos

So, according to Bryan Harsin, Auburn’s offensive game plan this week will be to let Bo Nix be even more Bo Nixian.

“Scramble drill, that’s from Day 1, that’s something that we’ve installed even back in spring,” Harsin said. “You know that’s going to happen not just because it’s Bo Nix; because of any quarterback in the country is going to have to scramble, so you want to have some type of answer. His ability to scramble, we saw it. He’s very elusive and did a great job in that game. Again, that’s not how the play’s drawn up, but there’s going to be things that guys are going to do in games where they go and make plays, and that’s exactly what he did.”

“You look at him, and the guy can make plays and he did,” Harsin said. “That’s not how you want to draw everything up. There is that ability, so you continue to work those things. They happen in practice, and then hopefully we can continue to capitalize on some of those plays in games. But (we) want to put the plan together where he can go out there and just operate, play quarterback and then when things do break down, be able to go make some really good decisions and some plays if that’s possible and continue that moving forward.”

I mean, the guy’s got a 104.03 passer rating against P5 defenses.  What could go wrong?

Kirby said Nix is “playing the best he ever has right now”.  I first took that as doing an impression of Vince Dooley talking about long snappah, but, sadly, upon reflection, Smart may have mean that sincerely.  And he’s not wrong.

29 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

Easy peasy, on the Plains

Bo Nix, on dealing with Jordan Davis:

“You can’t really prepare for it, because obviously there aren’t many 6-6, 350-pound guys walking around that you can just avoid all the time,” Nix said. “I’ve kind of been there and played those kind of guys, been around and never necessarily had a huge issue with it. Just play my own game, and if they’re in my way, just kind of run around them.

“He’s going to make his plays, and that’s why he’s a good player; he’s going to be a great draft pick for somebody in the future, and obviously there’s no denying that. So we just have to limit the times he is making plays.”

Oh.

75 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Immortalized

If you’ve ever wondered what is considered to be the greatest 23-44 (52.3%), 255 yards (5.8 ypa), 108.45 passer rating performance in the history of college football, the folks are Auburn have you covered.

I can’t wait to see what they come up with after this Saturday’s performance.

37 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stylin'

Know Bo.

On defensive challenge in facing a mobile quarterback
“The defensive challenge of facing a mobile quarterback is how long you have to cover and how creative you have to be. There’s plays that are eight seconds long. You know our guys on average play up, I don’t know, three, four second plays a long time. I mean, eight-second plays a long time and he can extend plays, he can win with his feet. No BoBo (Mike Bobo) is very creative with quarterbacks that can run so some quarterbacks that run can’t throw, so he can throw and run. So it adds an extra element that sometimes the design runs are easier to defend then one when you think it’s a pass because it is a pass and he takes off. So it’s tremendously hard, I don’t think people understand how good of an athlete this guy is. It’s been reported to me that he’s hit 22 miles per hour on GPS, we don’t have but maybe two receivers on our team to get 20 miles per hour. So, he is a really good athlete.

Shit, one freak play against a mediocre defense and you’d think Bo Nix has suddenly morphed into the second coming of Johnny Manziel.

Nix has faced Georgia twice before.  His passer ratings in those two games — 107.76 in 2019 and 84.67 in 2020 — are decidedly pedestrian at best.  This season against P5 competition, his passer rating of 104.03 is right in line with that.

And yet, we’re assured that containing Nix is a key to Saturday’s game.  I guess that’s possible.  But I’ve got to think that if Georgia State could contain him, Georgia’s got a real shot of doing so, too.

44 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

“I’m exhausted. I haven’t run around like that in a while.”

Will Bo Nix pull out his twinkle toes routine this week?  Probably, but it’s not a recipe for success against Georgia’s defense.  At least it hasn’t been so far:

The five starting quarterbacks to face Georgia this season — DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson), Tyler Johnston (UAB), Luke Doty (South Carolina), Ken Seals (Vanderbilt) and KJ Jefferson (Arkansas) — have combined on 33 carries for minus-6 yards.

Bo’s had some success running the ball this season — he averaged over six yards per rush against LSU last week — but he’s going up against the best run defense in the country this year, so we’ll see.

When asked about Nix’s frenetic performance in Baton Rouge with Georgia looming, Harsin said, “That’s not how you draw everything up, but there is that ability.”

25 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

An Auburn-CFP note (but not the one you’re thinking)

It may turn out to be a minor point, but Pat Forde notes something about this week’s opponent that may be worth filing in the back of our heads:

Something else to keep in mind, if we progress toward any kind of résumé contest that involves Georgia, Alabama and Penn State: All three will have played Auburn. The Nittany Lions beat the Tigers 28–20 at home in September; the Bulldogs visit them this week; and the Crimson Tide plays at their ancient rival Nov. 27. Results against that common opponent could influence perceptions of the three.

I could see that coming into play if all three finish the regular season with one loss.  Otherwise, probably not much to see here.

28 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs