Tank Bigsby Georgia

Auburn running back Tank Bigsby looks to run the ball against Georgia on October 9, 2021

The Auburn offense has some work to do in the run game after a subpar performance against Georgia's vaunted defense last Saturday. 

The Tigers only mustered up 46 yards on 29 rushing carries against the Bulldogs, averaging 1.6 yards per carry.

The 46 yards on the ground were the fewest in a game by the Tigers under head coach Bryan Harsin and the fewest from an Auburn team since a 2018 match-up with Texas A&M.

“Every single week, we've been trying to do that,” said Harsin of establishing the run.

The offense was able to run on the first drive of the game, a 17-play drive that resulted in a field goal, giving Auburn its only lead of the day. Three Tigers combined for 19 yards on the drive, but that success was short-lasting against a stingy Georgia run defense. The Tigers didn't find much success on the ground in the last three quarters.

“Everybody's got a piece of the pie when it comes to the run game, and that continues to be something that we're going to focus on, and do the things we know we're capable of doing or doing consistently,” Harsin said.

Tank Bigsby finished with 10 carries for 28 yards and a touchdown to lead the running attack on the day. The touchdown run seemed to be a familiar sight, where Bigsby was stopped short of the line of scrimmage for a loss, but bounced off-tackle and scampered into the endzone for a 6-yard rushing score. 

“It’s not just Tank; everybody on the offensive side of the ball has to be able to (run the ball),” Harsin said. “The O-line, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs.”

The lack of a rushing attack forced quarterback Bo Nix to try and make up ground through the air, which wasn’t successful either. To Nix’s credit, that fault didn't fall squarely on him but more toward the receivers, who were credited with seven drops against Georgia.

“We'd like to run the football,” Harsin said. “We’ve got to be balanced though, so we've still got to be able to throw and do things on the perimeter.”

The offensive line struggled against Georgia, both in run and pass blocking. Running backs didn’t have any lanes to run, and Nix was pressured all day. 

“Ideally, you want to run the football,” Harsin said. “One way to do that is to stop losing early.”

Looking forward to the Tigers’ next opponent, the No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks allow 181.5 rushing yards per game, which is the 10th-most in the SEC. The Auburn running backs will have a chance to get back on their feet next week, so long as they are given a chance by the offensive line. 

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