Auburn football kicks off its 2022 season at home against Mercer. In twelve matchups, the Bears have never beaten the Tigers.
In their previous matchup in 2017, Auburn managed to compile more than 500 yards of total offense … and scored just 24 points in a 24-10 win. Five turnovers plagued a very strange afternoon at Jordan-Hare.
Here are five reasons why Auburn will walk out of Week 1 with another win over the Bears.
Tank Bigsby controls the running game
Tank Bigsby rushed for 1,099 yards on 223 carries, averaging 4.93 yards per carry. Tank is a big part of deciding the outcome of this offense, as Mercer’s defense allowed 117 rushing yards in his first game against Morehead State. Mercer’s defense will have to bring more to the table if he wants to stop Auburn’s running game.
the auburn defense
Auburn’s defense will be too much for the mighty Mercer offense that was on display in Week Zero. Mercer had 63 points in his first game, racking up more than 600 yards of offense. Colby Wooden and the Auburn defense will stop Mercer’s offense during this matchup.
Auburn returns the offensive playbook for the second year in a row
Auburn tight end John Samuel Shenker joined Zac Blackerby at Locked On Auburn. Asked about the advantages of returning with an offense similar to last season, Shenker said, “It’s huge, this is the first time in four years that we’ve repeated the same playbook, which is huge for guys.” guys on the offensive end.” because now you can really hone in on the details…”
Off-season development in the quarterback room
Tj Finley was named QB1 after fall training for the Tigers ended. Finley made multiple appearances in the 2021 season, starting three games after starting quarterback Bo Nix suffered a broken ankle against Mississippi State. Coach Bryan Harsin had only good things to say about Finley during fall training camp. Harsin said: “The operation part is something that stood out, he has a good command of that, he is able to operate from the touchline to the group or on the field.” He also added: “He’s gotten better as a pitcher, as a decision maker. That’s the one thing from last year to this year, amazingly people get better, and Auburn’s quarterbacks get better, and better, and he’s a guy that has done that.” Finley will be able to run this offense smoothly and get points on the board.
Mercer’s defense played well in Week Zero, but he closed out his first game without a sack. Auburn’s offensive line should be able to give Finley plenty of pocket time, which would allow Auburn to have a big game in the air. You should expect to see big numbers against the Bears.
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