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Touchdown Auburn: Gus Gets Tricky

Tigers draw up some trickery to find the endzone a 2nd time in College Station

Auburn v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

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

Auburn’s 2nd drive went nowhere following that opening salvo but things got rolling again late in the 1st quarter. Facing 3 & short, Gus Malzahn elected to send Joey Gatewood in to pickup those 2 yards. Given the down and distance plus the personnel change, it would be simple to assume Auburn is going to try and run this up the gut with Gatewood. Instead, Auburn attacks the perimeter with Eli Stove on the speed sweep.

As has been a trend this series, Auburn is lined up in an unbalanced look with Prince Tega Wanogho flipped over to the right side next to Jack Driscoll. He makes an important reach block on this play preventing the Aggie end from blowing this play up early. The other critical block comes from Sal Cannella. The safety comes screaming down hill to fill the alley and stop this play short but Cannella does a great job flattening his path to beat the safety to the spot and redirecting when the safety tries to go outside. That gives Stove the heartbeat he needs to turn the corner and pickup the first down.

On the very next play, Auburn attacked A&M’s perimeter again with speed.

Speed sweep to Anthony Schwartz towards the field and this is setup by a tremendous block on the outside by Malik Miller. Again an A&M safety is coming fast downhill with a chance to stop this play for minimal gain but Miller prevents it with a great block. Schwartz turns the corner and picks up the first down.

Two plays later, Joey Gatewood is back to finish the drive. This time through the air.

Auburn is again in an unbalanced line with Tega flipped over to the right. John Samuel Shenker is lined up in his place on the left side but is still an eligible man downfield. The alignment plus personnel change of having Gatewood at QB makes A&M’s defense think run all the way. Instead, Gatewood fakes the jet sweep, Shenker leaks out unnoticed and it’s six points for the Tigers.

But the key part of this play was a tremendous block thrown by Spencer Nigh to give Joey a chance at getting the pass off.

Gatewood almost rolls into a sack on this play but Nigh races across and drives the defensive end away. That gives Gatewood just enough time to loft this ball over the defense and into Shenker’s awaiting arms. Touchdown Auburn!

War Eagle!