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How Bo Nix's rushing ability could push Auburn's offense to the next level

Bo Nix (10)
Football vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. 
Cat Wofford/Auburn Athletics
Bo Nix (10) Football vs Mississippi State on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. Cat Wofford/Auburn Athletics

Throw clich├ęs like "deceptively quick" out of the window; Bo Nix is a dual-threat quarterback. 

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix will garner attention for his prowess as a passer, but his ability to run the ball could be crucial to Auburn's success moving forward. 

Nix had his best passing game as a Tiger on Saturday in the team's 56-23 dismantling of Mississippi State. He threw for 335 yards on 16 completions, but Nix's quiet, rushing numbers could be important for Auburn's future success. 

Let's think back to the 2010 and 2013 seasons for the Auburn Tigers; the teams last two appearances in the national championship. Both teams were led offensively by Gus Malzahn, who was Auburn's offensive coordinator in 2010. Both teams were also piloted by a dual-threat quarterback. 

Is Bo Nix as dangerous on the ground as Nick Marshall or Cam Newton? No, he isn't, but Nix is increasingly becoming a threat on the ground for the Tigers. 

Nix has improved with the read option, and has shown his ability to pull it and run when necessary. This ability has made defenses respect his ability to run, opening holes for Auburn's stable of running backs. 

"It opens up everything," said head coach Gus Malzahn. "When your quarterback makes plays with his feet, it opens up everything inside, passing game, all the above." 

Now, 56 yards rushing yards on 7 carries and a touchdown won't jump off the state sheet. The key is how it opens up the rest of Auburn's offense with that threat to run. This wrinkle was something Auburn has missed the past two seasons. 

"Once the quarterback starts to run, they have to account for you," said Nix. "They have to be ready for you to pull it, so they never really know and they're always off balance."

Nix isn't Nick Marshall or Cam Newton, but he's a serviceable runner. The Tigers hope that Nix will continue to open up the offense in Gainesville next week, as Auburn will face Florida in a top-10 matchup in the Swamp. 

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