Rapid Reaction: Auburn keeps its head above water with late-game heroics

Noah Gardner gives his reaction to Auburn’s 35-28 win over Ole Miss. Follow him on Twitter at @PointGuardner. 

Going into Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, Auburn was in danger of dropping below .500 for the first time since Sept. 2016. With 2:25 left in the fourth quarter, similar to the previous two weeks against Arkansas and South Carolina, Bo Nix and the Auburn offense found themselves in a familiar, pressure-packed situation requiring a score to win the game.

Nix turned to Seth Williams for a 58-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game-winning score, bobbing Auburn back to a winning record with a manageable schedule on the horizon. Games against LSU, Mississippi State and Tennessee paint a picture of Auburn meandering its way to a 6-2 record heading into the Iron Bowl. Here are quick reactions to today’s game against Ole Miss.

1. Get behind Tank, and let him lead the way.

Surprisingly, Tank Bigsby received less carries in the South Carolina game following his breakout performance against Arkansas. For the first time this season, it felt like Auburn relied on Bigsby and made him the focal point of the offense.

During this week on Running the Point, I said one of the keys to Auburn turning the season around is to make the running game the focus of the offense. It worked out for Auburn as Bigsby carried 24 times for 129 yards, 5.4 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Auburn was able to control the clock against Ole Miss and take pressure off Nix, who had a career-high in completion percentage.

Bigsby is the kind of running back that can lead your team to wins. Give him the ball, and let him lead the way.

2. Seth Williams is that dude. Bo Nix is cool too.

Once again, it is Seth Williams to the rescue. While it is a criticism of this offense that the passing game is too dependent on Williams, having a go-to-guy at wide receiver is never a bad thing, especially when he is as clutch as Williams.

The 58-yard touchdown was his third game-winning grab of his career. Williams has improved this year, and there is no questioning his ability to haul in anything that is thrown in his direction. It will be interesting to see how he translates to the NFL when he makes the jump to the next level.

By the way, Nix delivered his best throw of the season, placing the football in the perfect location on the back-shoulder throw. Let’s see if Nix uses this game to settle in and deliver a much-improved performance in the second half of the season.