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Touchdown Auburn: Nix Keeps For Six

After a big play by Sal Cannella sets Auburn up at the goal line, Bo Nix trots into the endzone on the Zone Read.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Auburn Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn scored 53 touchdowns in 2019 and over the coming weeks we are going to breakdown each one.

Things were starting to get interesting in the 2nd quarter. After both teams traded punts following Kam Martin’s scamper, Kent State’s offense did the unthinkable. They scored a touchdown. That put some unexpected pressure on Auburn’s offense to respond, which is exactly what they did.

The drive got started with a bang thanks to a 17 yard run by JaTarvious Whitlow. Following a Boobee 6 yard run on 3rd & 4 to keep the chains moving, Auburn’s offense went to the air.

Auburn uses play action here to open up a big play over the middle. The Tigers show Inverted Veer in the backfield where right guard Mike Horton is pulling around to block the first man he sees. Typically, on this type of run play, Bo Nix would read the end. If he came inside, Nix would give it to Shaun Shivers. If he chased Shivers, Nix would keep it. But it’s all window dressing here to suck up the linebackers and open up an opportunity down the field.

Sal Cannella is lined up on the outside to start but breaks inside on the post while Eli Stove breaks out about 15 yards deep. Kent State’s cornerback is in a zone coverage and stays out wide to cover Stove while the safety is bailing deep to cover the middle of the field. The action in the backfield tricks Kent State’s linebackers and box safety to step up expecting run, as a result Cannella is wide open.

This is an awful throw by Nix but Cannella does a great job adjusting, making the catch and picking up some big yardage on the play. Two snaps later Auburn was in the endzone.

On the previous play, you can see Gus Malzahn screaming at Bo Nix to stick his foot in the ground and get up field on the keeper. This time, Nix does the right thing by going wide using Anthony Schwartz’s block to shield the one defender who might have stopped this play. Another Zone Read for a touchdown for the Tigers.

War Eagle!