Auburn scored 53 touchdowns in 2019 and over the coming weeks we are going to breakdown each one.
Following Seth Williams’s early 3rd quarter touchdown catch, Auburn’s offense would punt on its next 2 drives after picking up only one first down. Late in the 3rd, Jimbo Fisher finally abandoned his dumbfounding game plan predicated on establishing the run against Auburn’s front 7 and set Kellen Mond free. As a result, A&M found the endzone to start the 4th quarter putting some pressure on the Tigers offense to respond.
And respond they did.
On Auburn’s opening drive in the 4th quarter, JaTarvious Whitlow ran the ball on 8 of Auburn’s 12 plays. But the most crucial moment of the drive came on the Tigers one pass attempt.
Facing 3rd & 5 just behind the 40 yard line, Auburn’s offense needed a conversion in the worst of ways. Up to that point, Auburn had not attempted a single pass relying on their ground game to move the football. On 3rd & medium though they would need the young true freshman to come through in a hostile environment.
What I love most about this play from Bo Nix is how quickly he gets through his progression and how poised he remains in the pocket despite the pocket slowly collapsing around him.
The Tigers have trips to the field with Seth Williams isolated on the backside. Nix starts his read looking to the right where Auburn is running a “Stick” concept.
In its most basic form, the Stick Concept is a three man scheme with a vertical stretch, a horizontal stretch, and the Stick route. The outside most receiver provides a vertical stretch and works for an outside release, the middle receiver provides a horizontal stretch and attacks the flat, usually via a speed out. Finally, the most inside receiver runs the “stick” route, attacking vertically for about 5 yards before sticking his foot in the ground and turning for the football.
Nix is likely looking to hit Jay Jay Wilson on the speed out initially on this play but it’s covered. He works back to Sal who is also in tight coverage. He maybe could have gotten it to Sal by hitting him on the outside shoulder but it would have taken the perfect throw to execute. Instead, Nix works backside where Williams is running a slant. Seeing the backside cornerback trailing Williams and the safety too deep to make a stop, Nix puts it in Seth’s chest and it’s first down Tigers.
That conversion left A&M’s defense reeling. Just four plays later, Auburn was inside the 10 yard line.
Again, Auburn is in trips but this time decide to go to the ground. It’s GT Counter once again with the guard and tackle on the right side of the line pulling. Marquel Harrell gets driven back on the snap but does enough to keep A&M’s defensive tackle out of the play. Prince Tega Wanogho does a great job working to the 2nd level and walling off the backside linebacker. Mike Horton pulls around and seals the end opening a hole off the left side.
Theoretically, Boobee is probably supposed to wait for Driscoll to pull through so he can kick out on that backer who has a great shot at tackling Whitlow. However, Harrell gets driving into Driscoll’s path slowing him down. Boobee elects not to wait, scoots by Driscoll and runs past the linebacker into the endzone for the touchdown.