Postgame analysis of Auburn's 28-20 win at Texas A&M:
THREE THINGS WORTH TALKING ABOUT
Bo's throws go
Is anyone paying attention to how often Bo Nix overthrows his receivers? He underthrows, too.
On downfield passes, the true freshman comes up short more often than not. At least twice in the first half and at least once in the second against Texas A&M, Nix overthrew the receiver.
The verdict is still out on whether Nix is an upper echelon passer. Sure, he throws underneath the defense just fine. The screen passes are completed with pretty good accuracy, too.
However, the long ball leaves much to be desired. Anytime Nix takes to the air downfield, his passes are often grossly overthrown, and sometimes even underthrown.
Even his impressive TD pass against Oregon to Seth Williams, a 26-yarder, when the game seemed too close for comfort (Oregon led 21-20), was short. Nix heaved it downfield, and Williams, who had a beautiful stride toward the end zone, had to stop and come back to catch the throw.
Fastest to the ball
Noah Igbinoghene led Auburn in tackles (eight) on Saturday, and a closer look at his family tree might reveal why he was fastest to the ball and should be among the top for that statistic going forward.
Igbinoghene, whose eight tackles were all solo stops, is the son of Faith and Festus Igbinoghene, Olympic track athletes. Noah, who was a wide receiver, made the switch to cornerback, and it is paying off.
His mother won a bronze medal with the 400-meter Nigerian relay team in the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona, and his father competed in the long and triple jumps in the 1996 Summer Games.
Tackling like a pro
Defensive tackle Derrick Brown, who was injured in the last 2:12 to go in the game, had two sacks in Saturday's game, and while his total of four tackles didn't lead Auburn (Noah Igbinoghene had eight), his sacks led the way, as did his tackles for loss (three).
By most accounts, Brown should already be in the pros. He is a potential first-round NFL Draft pick. He said earlier this year he returned to Auburn for his senior year for two main reasons: “a degree and a championship.”
Rushing offense — B-: JaTarvious Whitlow was nearly absent in the first half but got going late to seal the game. The day’s highlight: a 57-yard touchdown run by receiver Anthony Schwartz to open up Auburn’s scoring.
Rushing defense — A+: Smothering. The Tigers didn’t let Texas A&M get anything going on the ground. Derrick Brown looked like an All-American, getting in the backfield at will. He limped off the field late on the last A&M score.
Passing offense — C: Nix is a work in progress. It’s getting better by the week, and he hasn’t made the big mistake to cost Auburn a game yet. That’s a good thing with a true freshman.
Passing defense — A: Texas A&M’s second offensive possession of the second half (the first was a turnover) sums it up: Brown sacked Kellen Mond. Tyrone Truesdell sacked Mond. A&M penalty. A&M penalty. It was the Tigers’ best defensive sequence all day.
Special teams — B+: A Christian Tutt 30-yard punt return set up the Tigers’ second touchdown. Meanwhile A&M’s Seth Small missed two long field goals in the first half that killed any momentum A&M looked to have.
Coaching — A-: There was no overthinking the play-calling. The Tigers looked in control and comfortable.
Overall — B+: Anyone nervous at the half that a prototypical Auburn reversal of fortune was going to happen as A&M adjusted to the Tigers? Us, too. Then the Tigers’ defense showed it’s a premier unit in the country this year.