Auburn really couldn’t have had an easier time than they did tonight against Akron, winning 60-10, and pitching a near perfect game as far as the starters were concerned. Obviously with a new coaching staff and a new offense, there were a ton of questions about how the Tigers would enter this game, and many of them were answered. What did the College and Magnolia staff think of the Bryan Harsin debut? Let’s see:
Auburn football was a lot of fun. That was something to be proud of. Sure it was Akron. I don’t care. We handled our business.
Being back in Jordan-Hare for the first time in almost 2 years was incredibly special. And yeah it was Akron but Auburn did exactly what they needed to do in this one. Bo had a stellar performance (I’m not doing the Bo bit) and looked really good with his decision making, deep throws and footwork. Tank was Tank. Shivers got 2 scores and like what I saw from the receivers. Did we learn much long-term from this game? No but who cares, Auburn football is back and it was great to be back in the stadium to witness it.
Auburn did what it should have done tonight. It was wild to see how many different formations the Tigers used in this game, even if it was just to run base concepts. I loved what I saw out of Tank and am more than convinced the more he’s the focus of the offense, the better Bonix will look. I was pleased with the effort from receivers who weren’t involved in plays and also from the hype I saw on the sidelines. This team is bought in.
-Son of Crow
This is exactly what we needed to kick off the Bryan Harsin era. Auburn overwhelmed a (much) weaker opponent and kept the foot on the gas. No mistakes were made. On to the next one.
It’s incredibly tough to get a read on a team when you play what might be the worst FBS football team I’ve ever seen play Auburn. That being said, I’m thrilled to give Bryan Harsin all the credit in the world for having this football team look competent in all phases of the game (gimmick XP formation that caused a miss aside). That looked like an extremely well coached football team that didn’t make stupid mistakes. You love to see it.
And Bo Nix deserves all the credit in the world too for looking like a quarterback who has applied solid coaching and turned it into a sterling performance, albeit again, against one of the most overmatched teams I’ve ever seen. He had a scramble to the right that resulted in yardage that was his most important play of the game in my opinion, and it was because he went through all of his progressions before taking off. That’s a massive positive that I hope we see more of in the coming weeks.
Let’s enjoy this schedule. It sets up for a pleasant start, and I for one will take it after the schedule we’ve started with for basically a decade.
Exactly what I wanted to see. Not too many folks got banged up and we took care of business to make it an enjoyable evening. On to preseason game #2!
In a game like this the results are pretty much expected, it’s the process you care about. How does Auburn go about throttling Akron? The how is what should have AU fans excited. The Tigers didn’t beat Akron into the dirt by spamming the same few plays but instead by attacking the Zips all over the field out of a variety of different personnel packages, formations, and concepts. Bo Nix looked as sharp as he’s ever looked. Defensively, AU did what you expected, though I am bummed we gave up the shutout. We won’t really know anything about this team until week three, but I was incredibly impressed with Harsin’s debut. This looked like a well-coached, confident team who knew they could kick Akron’s ass and went out there and did it.
In all seriousness, yes it was Akron, but this looked and felt different than the cupcake blowouts we experienced under Gus Malzahn. It was all business, all focus, all efficiency. We didn’t piddle around, and it looked like we actually spent at least a little time preparing for Akron. Now maybe that means that we don’t have an extra play prepared for Georgia or Alabama, since it was pretty apparent that Gus spent all the time in the world developing ways to piss of Nick Saban, but Bryan Harsin put together as solid a performance as you can expect in a debut.
We looked like a team that had a cohesive plan on both sides of the ball, and it quite honestly looked like a team that had a little extra pep in its step. They looked energized, and the fun got spread around to everyone. Bo Nix found a plethora of receivers, and didn’t seem to fixate on any one guy like he’d done in the past. The running game popped for more than 10 yards per carry, and we found a fun new toy in Jarquez Hunter. He’ll definitely get some SEC carries and work his way into the rotation.
Defensively, the pass rush was relentless, and the run defense swarmed. We didn’t even really get to assess the back end of the unit because they didn’t get much work with the effectiveness of the front seven. Like it was mentioned above, it’s just nice to see a win like this when Gus made us sweat more than we needed to in games like this. We’ll get another one next week with Alabama State, and watching everyone else in the SEC struggle with the FAUs, Rices, Kent States, and La Techs of the world makes me feel extremely grateful for a boring blowout win to start this year.