A question many Auburn fans have is, how will the offense look in 2021? Under Gus Malzahn, that side of the ball had become stale. New head coach Bryan Harsin has expertise on that side of the ball and is looking to get the Tigers heading in the right direction offensively.
The 2021 Auburn Offense
Will Bo Nix get better?
Any conversation about the Auburn offense seems to always begin and end with the two-year signal-caller. Everyone knows the story of Bo Nix. His dad, Patrick, played at Auburn in the mid-90s and Bo holds pretty much every record in high school football in the state of Alabama. The talent is there, but it just has not translated to the field.
Harsin and Bobo are both known for their work with quarterbacks and developing talented throwers of the football. That is especially true of Bobo. During his time at Georgia as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, he worked with some of the best the SEC has seen. He coached and developed David Greene, D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Murray. All those quarterbacks were superb in their fundamentals. That is where Nix is lacking. As stated, his physical ability is unquestioned and so is his heart. It is the small things like staying in the pocket and setting his feet that have been the issue. While small things, they are huge when consistently a problem.
Who backs up Tank Bigsby?
Auburn will enter the 2021 season with one of the best playmakers in the SEC. Tank Bigsby had an impactful freshman year on The Plains, and always gave the offense a burst of energy when on the field. Bigsby ran for 834 yards and five touchdowns. The problem towards the end of the season he was hampered by injury.
Auburn entered the 2020 season with a lot of depth at the running back spot. The rotation was made up of Shaun Shivers, D.J. Williams, Harold Joiner, Mark-Antony Richards, and Bigsby. Of those backs, only Bigsby and Shivers return. Williams, Joiner, and Richards all entered the transfer portal and will be on new teams this upcoming season. To add some depth, defensive back Devan Barrett will move to the running back position. Barrett is going full circle with running back being the position he played when first arriving on The Plains.
Who are the pass catchers?
A disappointing part of the offense over the past few seasons is that Auburn did not take advantage of a solid group of receivers. Seth Williams, Eli Stove, and Anthony Schwartz all leave Auburn with a feeling that they could have done more with their exceptional talent. All three will be drafted in the upcoming NFL Draft and have bright futures ahead. The trio combined for 145 catches and 1,755 yards with 10 touchdowns. That leaves the question though, who will Nix or any quarterback throw to this fall?
It will be much of a youth movement for the group. One player to keep a watchful eye on is Elijah Canion, who had a solid outing against Northwestern with three catches and 80 yards along with a touchdown catch. Others that will need to step up to fill the void will be Ze’vian Capers and Kobe Hudson. The Tigers will be welcoming three-star receiver Hal Presley out of Texas.