Auburn scored 53 touchdowns in 2019 and over the coming weeks we are going to breakdown each one.
A heroic 4th down stand by Auburn’s defense in the 4th quarter would be immediately rewarded by a 3 & out by Auburn’s offense. Oregon would eat some clock on their next drive but only move the chains once. That would put the ball in the freshman’s hands again with 2:04 remaining in the contest. The same freshman who up to that point had only completed 9 passes on 25 attempts while also throwing 2 picks.
The same freshman who would break Duck fans hearts.
Auburn’s game winning drive did not get off to a promising start. Following a 1st down completion to Seth Williams for 5 yards, Auburn’s offense would only pickup two yards on the next two downs resulting in a 4th & 3.
It was do or die time for the Tigers.
Auburn is running a flood concept. Bo Nix play fakes the end around and then rolls to his right. Seth Williams is running a drag route from the back side while Sal Cannella runs a deep out. JaTarvious Whitlow is heading to the flat. Nix has three options here, none are open.
So he just does it himself.
Instead of forcing a ball into traffic for a likely incompletion and an opening season loss, Nix elects to tuck the ball, stick his foot in the ground and get up field. Oregon’s defenders close quickly but not quick enough. The true freshman lunges forward and picks up the crucial first down.
After another first down, Auburn again finds itself in trouble. Two incomplete passes result in a 3rd & 10 from the Oregon 39 yard line. That’s likely still too far out to attempt a game winning field goal, at least too far out to feel confident in the attempt, so Auburn desperately needs to move closer and give Anders Carlson a better chance.
The Tigers are in 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) with John Samuel Shenker initially lined up out wide. He motions in just before the snap and runs a Flag-Flat concept with Seth Williams.
Oregon appears to be in zone coverage with the cornerback bailing to cover the deep third of the field. The OLB to the boundary takes Shenker while the inside backer drops into his hook zone. However, he does a poor job rerouting Seth Williams who is able to press the corner deep before breaking outside at the 1st down marker. This was Bo Nix’s best ball of the game in my opinion, getting the ball out on time and in rhythm to Williams for the 1st down.
Following that completion, the assumption would be Auburn plays it conservative to set up the game winning field goal attempt. Chris Fowler even attempts to say as much before Auburn quickly snaps the ball and does the unthinkable.
It looks like Oregon is running some sort of combo coverage. To the boundary side, Oregon’s safety is cheated up closer to the line of scrimmage appears to be in man coverage on John Samuel Shenker. The boundary cornerback is in press coverage on Sal Cannella. To the field, Oregon is running Cover 2. A safety sits over top Eli Stove in the slot but bails on the snap while the cornerback covering Seth Williams is playing off and sits in the short zone covering Stove.
Nix sees the off coverage and the safety playing over top Stove so decides to take the shot. He does a good job not leading Williams as the safety would have easily broken up that pass. Instead, he throws this short which allows Williams to seal the safety with his body and make the big time play.
What a play. What a moment.