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Position Group Grading Recap: Week 1

We asked our readers, Twitter followers, and staff how the Tigers graded out Saturday.

Oregon v Auburn Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Earlier this week, we opened up the polls for you the readers to tell us how each position group did. Let’s review:


B+. With the exception of the final drive, I’d probably give Nix somewhere in the C range. 2 INTs are never good, and he failed to hit some open recievers instead of just getting rid of the ball. That said, as a true Freshman he was poised and confident and probably following orders to just get rid of the ball. The final drive was an A+ in and I’ve itself. Perfect throws, perfect execution, gutsy play.” - AUChief


B. 32 carries for 123 yards and no touchdowns as a group. In general that’s not great. I bumped them up from C because Whitlow carried the team in the second half. Shivers never really got free, and Martin really only had one good carry.” - AU_Jonesy


“I’m going to give this group a solid A. Most of the snaps went to Spencer Nigh who did a solid job being a 6th blocker for an offensive line that needed help. He also helped pop open a few of Boobee’s runs in the second half as a lead blocker, and he had a catch that helped move Auburn into field goal range before Nix-to-Williams. Shenker contributed with some good blocking from the true TE spot, and technically Cannella’s wheel route was from the H-back spot.” - Ryan Sterritt


B-. Until some big plays late in the game, I had this group at a C or C+. Some inconsistency blocking on the edge plus struggles to get separation made it hard to be overly positive about wideouts performances. But some big plays late (specifically Stove’s sweep & Seth’s TD catch) pushed this up for me. Still, I expect more from this group moving forward. Tigers really need Hastings & Schwartz to be full go, I also think they need to give Matthew Hill some more chances to shine. Potential is there for this group to be very good but they got work to do to get there.” - AUNerd


Straight C. For all of the talk of how much the line improved with another offseason together, the results weren’t great against Oregon. They certainly weren’t awful - they held their own in the second half when the offense decided to run the ball instead of passing it so much. However, they didn’t do all that much to help the freshman quarterback early in the game. Nix was able to scramble more times than not, which limited the sacks, but I’d prefer not give new kid happy feet. Overall, it was pretty average from the offensive line. But hey, C’s get degrees wins.” - Ryan Sterritt


“People are going to look at the offensive output for Oregon in the first quarter and say that our defensive line got worked. Truth be told, Oregon’s plan to neutralize them worked to perfection early on, but Brown, Davidson, Coe, and Truesdell still won their share of battles. And when they did, it was in impressive fashion. Time and again you saw an Oregon lineman explode backward into the backfield, but coverage busts and quick hitting plays to the outside took advantage of an aggressive front group. Once the Ducks’ script ran out and Kevin Steele adjusted, Oregon averaged just a couple yards per carry, and in the end, it was the defensive line that led the charge in stopping the Ducks late. Still, we need to see elite pass rush and that didn’t really happen. Missing Davidson and Moultry for stretches doesn’t help. First quarter grade: B-, after that: A. Overall: Solid B/B+.” - Jack Condon


“Give em an A. Deshaun Davis was one of my favorite Auburn players and I was wondering who would be the guy to step up and step in to Davis’s role. Insert K.J. Britt! He was all over the field and had 7 tackles and a half sack on the night. He is gonna be one of my favorite guys to watch this year. In addition, freshmen Owen Pappoe proved he was worth the hype with 5 tackles and a pass breakup. Zakoby McClain equaled his number of tackles from all of last year with 4 in this game along with a half sack. It’s tough replacing 3 LBs like Davis, Darrell Williams and Montavious Atkinson but I’m excited to see what this group led by Britt and Pappoe does this year!” - Will McLaughlin


“They got burned early. And if Auburn had lost, Spencer Webb dunking on Javaris Davis would’ve been a meme. Luckily adjustments were made, and like the rest of the defense they played way better from the second quarter on. Jeremiah Dinson was the SEC defensive player of the week, and in true lock down corner fashion, the only time you heard Noah Igbinoghene’s name was on special teams. I’ll give them a B+ with the thought that the first quarter was a week one aberration.” - Ryan Sterritt


C+. Kickoff coverage was mostly great, but punt coverage nearly cost Auburn the game. Tutt’s 41 yard return was definitely a bright spot. Block in the back penalties are always going to be inconsistent. Anders going 2/3 wasn’t bad. Negative plays pushed Auburn back, so a 30 yard FG turned into a 42 yard FG.” - joshdub_


B+. It’s easy to focus on a drive starting at the 3 and ending with only 3 points. It’s easy to focus on the defense dang near surrendering 21 points in the first half. It’s easy to focus on kick coverage being poor. Here’s the thing, this staff didn’t just play, but truly trusted a true freshman at quarterback. They forced young defensive linemen to step up as if there was no other choice. They adjusted to what they were seeing knowing their players were better than the opposition. In the first game of the season everyone gets some level of a pass for shaking some of the rust off. Including the offensive play caller. Now why does Gus Malzahn get more credit than simply focusing on that horrible 3-play sequence at the goal line? Because the man freakin’ owned it. So was it perfect? Not close. Was it worrisome at times? Definitely. But based on what they were working with, this team showed they’ve got a chance to improve throughout this season with this staff, which is something we didn’t see last year. And frankly, outside of the 3 goal line plays, I’d say there were more execution miscues than there were coaches putting them in poor positions.” - JoshuaBBlack