Quarterback Bo Nix and the Auburn offense looked nearly unstoppable in the first half as the Tigers easily overpowered Akron on Saturday night, notching a 60-10 win to kick off the Bryan Harsin era on the Plains.
Nix played a nearly flawless first half, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns and adding 32 yards on the ground on three carries.
The junior quarterback added 20 passing yards on the first drive of the second half to finish with 275 yards through the air on 22 of 22 passing.
“I was excited to get out there and be consistent,” Nix said, “Just be in control of the game and know where to go with the ball.”
The Tigers scored on each of their first eight drives, with seven of those drives ending in touchdowns. Their first score of the season came on a 32-yard rush by running back Tank Bigsby, where he was so far away from any defender that he began to celebrate from the 10-yard line.
“I was just very excited,” Bigsby said, “First (touchdown) of the season . . . it was a big moment. I just had the energy, and I felt like I had the need to celebrate, and I did.”
The sophomore from LaGrange, Georgia recorded 49 of Auburn’s 65 total yards on the first drive, and finished with a team-high 119 yards and two scores on 13 carries.
Nix would then go on to throw three touchdowns in under six minutes of game time, giving Shaun Shivers, Ja’Varrius Johnson and Kobe Hudson all their first career touchdown receptions.
“I just love the joy in all those guys' faces,” Nix said, “and the excitement when they make a big play.”
Nix completed his first 11 passes, with the first incompletion coming late in the second quarter on a pass intended for wide receiver Kobe Hudson. On that same drive, Nix used his arm and legs to set up Auburn’s fifth touchdown of the evening, a one-yard run up the middle by Bigsby.
“Knowing we can run the ball like we did tonight, that's something we can build on in the future,” offensive tackle Austin Troxell said.
Carlson would add a 44-yard field goal to make the Auburn lead 37-0 going into halftime.
Harsin kept his starters in for the first drive of the second half, with Bigsby and Nix once again leading the Tigers deep into Akron territory. Bigsby’s final run of the night was a 31-yard carry that would go on to set up a 26-yard touchdown by Shivers.
“I feel like this year we have a great running back room,” Bigsby said. “If one of us does good, we all do good.”
After Shivers’ second touchdown of the evening, Harsin took out his starting offense, but the production didn’t stop there. Freshman running back Jarquez Hunter added 110 yards on the ground on nine carries, helping edge the Tigers over the 300-yard rushing mark for the first time since 2019. The Philadelphia, Mississippi native also added a touchdown in the final minute of the game.
“Jarquez was a guy that we felt like would get an opportunity regardless,” Harsin said. “In his first game to go out there and play, he has earned that through practice.”
Nix is now ranked seventh in Auburn history for career passing yards with 5,232. He surpassed his father Patrick Nix, who played at Auburn from 1992-1995, in career passing yards during Saturday’s game. Nix is also now tied for eighth in passing touchdowns with 31, and sixth in passing completions with 754.
“It means a lot (to pass him),” Nix said. “My dad has taught me a lot.”
Nix, Bigsby and the rest of the Tigers will look to build off this offensive performance when they take on Alabama State next weekend. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.