We've heard this narrative since Nix won his second high school state championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium last fall, and his "Auburn legacy" was ignited when he threw the game-winning touchdown to Seth Williams to beat, at the time, 11th-ranked Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. This 15-point comeback against the Ducks was the largest comeback since Auburn beat Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl.
Despite his picturesque finish to kick off his Auburn career, Nix has made some freshman plays. Through the first three games he's only completed 54 percent of his passes . However not all of the criticism can be placed on the true freshman QB since Auburn's O-line continues to struggle. Nix leads the SEC in throws made outside the pocket (22) and has been pressured on 29.2 percent of his drop-backs.
Nix showed improvement versus Kent State, going 12-16 for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns (one rushing). This Saturday will be Nix's true first road game at a very loud Kyle Field against an experienced A&M defense.
"Defensively, they’re third in our league in total defense," said Head Coach Malzahn. "They did a very good job against us last year defensively. We’re really playing one of the better teams, we feel like, in our league, on the road. This will be our first road test, as far as the league goes, with our freshman quarterback. We’re excited for the opportunity."
The Aggies will attempt to contain Auburn's run game and force the freshman to throw. We can also expect A&M to try and confuse Nix by showing him a lot of different looks and blitz packages considering Nix's struggles once the pocket collapses.
Despite all of these factors, Nix has shown nothing but poise when it comes to handling the pressure of big games and seems above all the media hype of his Auburn mythos– his main focus on getting another win under his belt.
“The fact that we had the first game on the road -- although we had more fans than Oregon, it was still an exciting atmosphere and a big game -- he has that in his back pocket as far as experience on the road," said Malzhan. "I think it is like anything else with a first experience, but he is a great competitor. I have said before that the moment will not be too big, so we will have to handle the noise and everything that goes with it.”
The Auburn baseball team (12-16, 1-11 SEC) was swept this weekend at home by top five opponent Mississippi State. Auburn has now faced three top five opponents in the first four weeks of conference play.