Saturday’s loss to South Carolina wasn’t Auburn quarterback Bo Nix’s brightest moment with the Tigers. The sophomore made a pretty horrible blunder on the game’s final play.
As the clock ticked down to zeroes, with Auburn down eight points, Nix took off from around the South Carolina 22-yard line. He had some daylight, but there was no more time for another play after this. A touchdown was imperative on the play.
Instead, he was tackled by the Gamecocks defense just inside of the 10 yard line, well short of the goal line. Even if there was time for another play, he was also short of the first down line to stop he clock. He needed to throw the ball to the end zone and try to make something happen, and failed to do so.
After the game, head coach Gus Malzahn mentioned the lack of spring ball and the bizarre offseason as potential reasons for the offense’s inconsistency. Days later, and Malzahn is still going to the mat for his sophomore signal caller, saying he “competed like crazy” against the unranked Gamecocks.
Gus Malzahn says Auburn QB Bo Nix "competed like crazy" against South Carolina last week. "I thought he made some big-time runs. He made some scramble plays on third downs that helped with conversions." pic.twitter.com/s5MeZkIivj
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) October 20, 2020
“He competed like crazy, I do know that,” Malzahn said during the Tuesday press conference, per Saturday Down South. “He fought… had 15 rushes and throwing. Each game is a little bit different, but being able to run the football and read balanced, that’s really what we’re going to focus on. That will help everything. He competed his tail off and I thought he made some big-time runs, ran physical and made some scramble plays that helped us on third down, too.”
Nix definitely played hard, but that wasn’t good enough in an SEC game that was very important for Auburn to win, to keep pace in what is a very competitive conference this year.
After a 2-2 start, plenty of Tiger fans are once again calling into question Gus Malzahn’s ability to lead the team to the top of the SEC, and now have questions about Nix about the best option for the program at quarterback as well.
Bo Nix may have to win a shootout this weekend, if Auburn football is to get off the schneid. The Tigers are on the road at Ole Miss on Saturday. The game is set to kick off at noon ET.