Y’all rested yet? Or did you stay up way too late watching Auburn accomplish something monumental and historic and get up too early to scroll Twitter and watch highlights?
Auburn beat LSU 24-19 in Baton Rouge last night, the first victory in Death Valley since 1999, when Tommy Tuberville becursed us with cigars and frivolity. After that, Tubs went 0-4 during the rest of his tenure, with two absolute heartbreaking losses. Gene Chizik got beat by a combined 79-20 score in two trips down there, and Gus Malzahn came close a couple times but ultimately also ended up 0-4 in Tiger Stadium.
Bryan Harsin accomplished the win in one try.
Let’s start with the highlights —
The main story from last night, aside from the overarching streak-breaking win in itself, is what happened with Auburn’s quarterback position and Bo Nix.
We all know he got benched last week, and TJ Finley came in to lead the 98 yard game-winning drive against Georgia State, and there was much talk about Bo Nix’s composure and mindset after getting pulled and in practice all week. Apparently, he took it upon himself to take the benching in stride and work harder. Maybe it made him mad, maybe it motivated him. Whatever it was, when Greg McElroy is complimenting Auburn’s quarterback play, it’s either really good or he’s still feeling a bit loopy from his encounter with T’Sharvan Bell eleven years ago.
Nix was about as Nixy as you can get last night, but in a good way. The highlight of the night was his fourth down touchdown pass to Tyler Fromm, where he scrambled about 60 yards before chucking up the end zone rocket. It came at a time when Auburn went down 13-0, and Bryan Harsin/Mike Bobo gave Finley a series to see what he could do.
Auburn QB Bo Nix on his fourth-down TD bomb to Tyler Fromm: "I'll never forget the vision I had in my head, seeing that hair flopping out of the back of that helmet running toward the end zone."— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) October 3, 2021
"think I might go to bed early it's gonna be a long day tomorrow"— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) October 3, 2021
Bo Nix: pic.twitter.com/wTDmo8tW93
Shortly after the touchdown pass, Nix again escaped a sure sack and converted another fourth down to keep a scoring drive alive, and the Tigers tacked on a field goal. The internet loved what he did all night long.
If our shirtless friend was Bo Nix and the men tackling him were LSU he’d have gotten out of this https://t.co/64nLUu9wvc— And the Valley Spooks (@ATVShook) October 3, 2021
bo nix is required to explore the entire backfield like a zelda dungeon before throwing the football— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) October 3, 2021
Bo Devontae Nix ❗️ (No that’s not his middle name, but it is tonight ) What a performance kid— ⭐️Deshaun Davis⭐ (@_Davis_Boy12) October 3, 2021
I don’t know how Auburn fans deal with the rollercoaster that is Bo Nix— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) October 3, 2021
And even our friends over at And The Valley Shook had their fun with things.
LSU should have to issue a statement on Monday, apologizing to the rest of the SEC for making “Bo Nix, Auburn Hero” into a real thing— PodKATT (@valleyshook) October 3, 2021
All joking aside, Nix’s mobility and ability to escape to keep plays alive was super key when considering Auburn was playing against one of the nation’s best teams at getting pressure. LSU led the country in sacks last night, and got Nix on the ground exactly ZERO times. Even in the loss to Penn State, Nix wasn’t corralled.
Bo Nix in two Power Five road games this season: 83 dropbacks, zero sacks.— Nathan King (@NathanKing247) October 3, 2021
After it was all over, 22 years and 10 losses’ worth of frustration came out emotionally for many people, but nobody understood better than the man who’d been in the exact same position of losing to LSU in that stadium.
I saw his daddy cry and I did not maintain my composure and I’m not even sorry— Peggy (@peggyrossmanith) October 3, 2021
Of course, one of our own maybe put it most eloquently.
Bo learned a very important lesson from Malzahn— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) October 3, 2021
Be at your best right when you are about to lose your job
On the other hand, while Auburn got down 7-0 really quickly, and 13-0 pretty soon after that before the offense started working, things turned even quicker for the defense. As mad as we all were at Derek Mason in the first 20 minutes of the game, he made up for it afterward for the second week in a row.
Over the past 2 weeks Derek Mason's defense has faced probably 10 or 11 total drives where any points for the opponent ends the game. And they haven't allowed a damn thing. https://t.co/rijIgUZyhu— Jerry Hinnen (@JerryHinnen) October 3, 2021
It was so weird to watch LSU unable and unwilling to even try running the ball until late. Even when they did go to the ground, Auburn had no trouble stopping things with 2 or 3 down linemen and basically everyone else dropped into coverage. LSU ran 24 times for 29 yards (of course that includes the bad snap that lost 21 yards), and Auburn never respected the run game in the slightest. It was flat-out rude, and the blue Tigers didn’t need to explain themselves. Once they dropped into coverage and blanketed Boutte, LSU could do very little offensively. Instead, the best team at getting sacks got zero, and Auburn notched three with plenty of pressure aside from that.
As far as other random notes go, I’m not sure what kind of team we were watching, with the tight ends turning into such an epic piece of the attack.
alright, not official, but:— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) October 3, 2021
I believe John Samuel Shenker has the first 100-yard game from an Auburn tight end since Andy Fuller did it vs. Florida on Oct. 15, 1994
In the end, Shenker grabbed 5 receptions for 102 yards, with Tyler Fromm adding 40 yards on 3 catches. That total makes up more than half of Nix’s passing yardage from the evening. It was like we had a feature tight end again, like we had with Lutzenkirchen, which... coincidence —
Tonight was @AuburnFootball 's first road win when trailing by 13+ points since 2010 vs Alabama.— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) October 3, 2021
This is the 1st time @AuburnFootball has overcome double-digit deficits to win in consecutive games since beating UGA & Bama in 2010. That season, AU defeated Georgia 49-31 after falling behind 21-7 after the 1Q & overcame a 24-0 second-quarter deficit in Tuscaloosa to win 28-27.— Scott Scroggins (@ScrogginsNoggin) October 3, 2021
Also, if we look at the other side of the coin, things aren’t looking so great for LSU. They’re already 3-2 on the year, with one unreal stretch coming up. LSU has to deal with five straight games against ranked teams, starting next week. It goes —
@ #16 Kentucky
vs #20 Florida
@ #17 Ole Miss
@ #1 Alabama
vs #13 Arkansas
I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’ll be underdogs in every one of those games, and if the chalk holds, they’ll be 3-7 heading into the final pair of weekends with no hope for the postseason. Ed Orgeron likely isn’t long for this world based on a litany of items and issues, but on the field performance will be the actual death knell if things go off the rails.
BUT, if he gets canned, he gets canned.
Auburn got the win yesterday, and moved up to #18 in the polls after the victory. Now, it’s a CBS afternoon matchup with a team maybe playing better than anyone in the country right now in #2 Georgia. If we’re going to have a shot, the run defense needs to be perfect, and Bo Nix has to be as careful as possible while using every bit of wily escapism that he’s got. War Eagle for now!