Auburn vs. Texas A&M Offensive Breakdown
AUBURN DRIVE 1:
Starting at the 8:42 mark in the 1st quarter.
1st and 10 - MOTION OUT, QUICK SCREEN TO SCHWARTZ
AU starts with two separate motions and gets into the Empty look.
Slide protection to the right here. This means that the first uncovered man will start a slide to the right, leaving the LT (Troxell) in this case by himself manned up. Gap integrity is the most important thing here.
This being a slower developing screen with two blockers in front, the slide protection was necessary.
A&M defender stops the pass from connecting.
2nd and 10 - PLAY ACTION: SWING SCREEN TO SCHWARTZ
Keeping the same look to the left, but tighter, AU goes to another screen.
The immediate inside threat was left to run free and Schwartz would have lost yards if he’d caught it.
3rd and 10 - DROP BACK: RB DELAY OUT
This is a designed play to the RB out of the backfield. It is similar to a screen but it’s a delayed quick out after clearing out that part of the field.
Shivers stands in as if he’s in pass protection and then pops out into the out after it is cleared out.
Hudson runs a shallow drag while Seth Williams goes deep
There is a big window in the middle of the field where Jackson ran a dig on the backside. It was never even entertained.
I like this play, but I just cannot get on board with the short pass or screen philosophy on 3rd and long.
AUBURN DRIVE 2:
Starting at the 3:28 mark in the 1st quarter.
1st and 10 - RPO: COUNTER RIGHT w/ QUICK OUT TO STOVE
When in doubt it seems AU likes to go to the RPO game. That’s absolutely fine as it is usually successful.
Nothing too difficult here.. just a quick flip out to an open Eli Stove.
2nd and 3 - PLAY ACTION: DEEP CROSSER
This was an interesting play call, but A&M’s defense was ready for a shot as AU likes to do so on 2nd and short
Williams was closely followed on the deep crosser and the throw was way too late and into traffic.
In Nix’s defense, the play action slowed him down and the safety had time to cover ground.. however he should have never thrown this into double coverage.
3rd and 3 - JET MOTION, RPO: INSIDE SPLIT ZONE RIGHT w/ FLAT PASS
With a wide arch by the end, Nix correctly hands this off to Shivers.
Austin Troxell and Nick Brahms rolled their guys out of the way and Shivers had all kinds of room to run. Give Troxell a pancake.
Tashawn Manning realizes Brahms is handling the nose easily and climbs to find the backer. Shivers makes a cut off of this and gets about 10 more yards. Great stuff.
Gain of 13
1st and 10 - RETURN MOTION, RPO: INSIDE SPLIT ZONE RIGHT w/ QUICK OUT
AU picks up the pace..
I think the hand off was the right read here, but the quick out would’ve easily been there again.
Shivers not able to find much room as Manning can’t snap off to the LB quick enough.
2nd and 10 - INSIDE ZONE LEFT, STEELERS RIGHT
I didn’t know what to call this.. during the game I called it power read, but the OL blocks Inside Zone left. I have not seen this before.
Shivers runs laterally into a mesh with Nix and Nix has the option to give it or keep it.
The end squeezes down and Nix hands it off. Shivers makes a big play as Jackson and Schwartz make some key blocks on the perimeter.
Love this play call. Gain of 33
1st and 10 - INSIDE SPLIT ZONE LEFT
Quick tempo here
Troxell loses his balances and let’s the end disrupt the play. Shivers is unable to get much.
2nd and 10 - RETURN MOTION, RPO: INSIDE SPLIT ZONE LEFT w/ QUICK OUT TO WILLIAMS
MAR checks in.
Easy pitch out to Williams for a short gain.
Would have liked to see the hand off this time as there was a big lane opened up between Troxell and Deal.
3rd and 9 (after Troxell false start) - DROP BACK: POST & DIG
Seth Williams is by himself on the right side and runs the medium post.
Shed Jackson runs the dig from the other side.
Nice timing on the throw into a tight window. A little behind Williams but a catchable and timely ball. Good execution there.
13 yard gain
1st and 10 - POWER G TOSS
The OL runs Power G right. The backside guard pulls to lead while the playside blocks down.
Nix has the option to keep or toss and he goes with the toss to MAR. He gets a short gain behind good blocking by Shenker out in space.
2nd and 7 - JET MOTION, INSIDE ZONE LEFT
Shivers sees a hole backside and tried to hit it but it closes quickly. He quickly redirects and find a backside lane to get a few.
That’s about the best you could ask a RB to do in that situation.
3rd and 5 - ACROSS MOTION, DROP BACK: VERTICAL, WHIP, WHEEL
This one is difficult to watch.
The vertical took the safety and the corner deep while the whip caused the other corner and backer to trigger to it.
The wheel was wide open down the sideline for a TD. Excellent play design.
Bro Hamm doesn’t get to the edge quick enough and allows some leakage from the backside causing Nix to drift to the left while he is throwing.
He threw this one to the pylon when it should’ve been put more towards the middle of the endzone. Bad miss here.
Really nice drive to end without scoring on a sure TD. Very unfortunate.
AUBURN DRIVE 3:
Starting at the 8:09 mark in the 2nd quarter.
1st and 10 - JET MOTION, PLAY ACTION: FAKE JET SWEEP DRIVE & RB WHEEL
This play could’ve been huge. Another missed opportunity.
Absolutely no one goes with MAR on the wheel and he’d have a shot at taking it to the house if thrown to.
For some reason Nix checks it down to Schwartz who was standing in the flats. It was a decent gain.. but this throw cannot be missed..
The play was schemed up.. why did he not see it?? Terribly frustrating.
2nd and 4 - RETURN MOTION, GT COUNTER RIGHT, POP PASS LEFT
Tank Bigsby checks in.
Everyone runs the IZ here but Schwartz gets the quick flip and fools A&M’s defense. This is a trendy play right now and when timed correctly can be tough.
Gain of 10
1st and 10 - FAKE REVERSE, DEEP BALL TO WILLIAMS
Shivers slides to QB and Nix to RB.. Shivers gives to Nix and he fakes the reverse to look for Williams deep.
It was covered so Nix scrambled for 5.
Haven’t seen a trick play like that in a while.... interesting.
2nd and 5 - RPO: COUNTER RIGHT w/ HITCH AND QUICK OUT
Nix gives it off to Bigsby here.
He follows Shenker who is the lead puller here and finds a nice lane off of the combo by Jones and Hamm.
Great job too by Manning and Shenker on the kick and lead.
Gain of 7
1st and 10 - PLAY ACTION: FAKE COUNTER RIGHT, MEDIUM CROSSER RUB CONCEPT
Ok this was actually pretty technical.
In the tight bunch to the left Capers was the number 2 receiver who is told to go to the inside shoulder of the man defender and push him down field. He goes to inside shoulder because the underneath route can release free.
Seth Williams is the number 3 receiver and runs the medium crosser that opened up beautifully because of the perfect rub by Capers.
Capers has got to be careful with his hands here as he almost looks like he’s blocking down field.
Not a difficult throw but it had to be timely. Really, really cool play.
Gain of 27
1st and 10 - INSIDE ZONE RIGHT
Bigsby gets another shot here. The lanes close up quickly so he stretches it to the sideline.
He does have a small lane that he obviously didn’t feel comfortable with. I’m sure he will be told to hit that next time. Better chance for more yards there I’d think.
2nd and 8 - INSIDE ZONE RIGHT, STEELERS PLAY
Same play as before. Again, in real time I called this the power read.. but that is incorrect. The OL is blocking IZ Right.
Troxell and Brahms end up climbing to the second level and pick up the backers nicely.
This time Nix pulls it and gets behind Brahms to break a big run down to the 5.
Gain of 20. I love the variety in the run game right now. We’ve seen IZ, this unorthodox play, Counter, and Jet.
1st and goal - JET MOTION, INSIDE ZONE RIGHT
Major shift by Pegues and Deal
Bigsby again tried to bounce it when there was a place to hit it in the middle—it may not have scored but it would’ve gotten a gain.
2nd and goal - PLAY ACTION: INSIDE SPLIT ZONE, SLANT & WHIP. TD!
The idea here was to get Schwartz on a double move from a slant and then a hard cut back to the corner of the endzone.
Instead, A&M brings the heat and Bo Nix makes what I believe is the most impressive play of his career to this point. Ridiculous fight in that guy.
AUBURN DRIVE 4:
Starting at the 15:00 mark in the 3rd quarter.
1st and 10 - ACROSS MOTION, PLAY ACTION: DEEP CROSSERS WITH VERTICAL
A delayed blitz from the field side gave Hamm and Jones issues.
This makes Nix have to evade from the pocket and he loses a ton of ground to do so.
Absolutely no one came open at anytime and Nix gets 22 yards on an 80 yard scramble. Despite having issues with his feet at times.. Nix has a really unique skill set.
This was the worst rep of pass protection by the OL I’ve seen in a while and should’ve been a huge loss.
1st and 10 - JET MOTION, FAKE Q GT COUNTER, JET SWEEP TO SCHWARTZ
I’ve felt that the jet sweep has been somewhat lost this year. It’s a great play to make the defense chase and sometimes can break it. This time it did.
The pulls by the guard and tackle to the opposite side held the LB’s in place to help spring Schwartz.
Gain of 28
1st and 10 - JET MOTION, FAKE JET, Q GT COUNTER
Same play but reversed. A&M had the middle clogged and it was a tough ask to get that blocked. Nix has nowhere to go.
2nd and 11 - OUTSIDE ZONE RIGHT
Frazier checks in at TE.
Shivers gets a chance to try Outside Zone.
Nick Brahms does an excellent job of keeping has hat and hands on without letting up.. he keeps carrying the DL toward the sideline and Shivers cuts right off of it.
OZ is so tough, especially when you’ve hit them with IZ a few times.
3rd and 4 - DROP BACK: MESH CONCEPT W/ POST
There was really nowhere to go again, however, I really like this mesh concept.
Nix felt uncomfortable in the pocket and couldn’t hold out long enough to let it play out. He evades forward through the pocket as Brahms is handling his man really nicely.
He scrambles for another first down. Gain of 7
1st and 10 - JET MOTION, INSIDE ZONE RIGHT
Bigsby this time finds the perfect lane on a quick jump cut and barrels ahead for another chunk gain.
Two great combos in the middle and Bigsby saw it perfectly.
2nd and 2 - JET MOTION, FAKE JET, Q GT COUNTER
AU tries this play one more time and A&M is ready for it again.
Just too much mess in the middle to execute two pulls.
3rd and 3 - INSIDE ZONE LEFT
Apparently Bigsby thought Nix should’ve pulled it as he bounced outside the read man and took the track that Nix would’ve taken.
There is no analysis necessary on this play.. Tank Bigsby felt he could make a huge play and he did that. It looks to me he’s been given the green light to do so.
8 yard gain down to the 3
1st and 10 - INSIDE ZONE LEFT LASSO. TD!!
Nix pulls it which is the correct read on this one.
The lasso here means that Shenker arch releases the read man from the playside TE spot and finds the first initial threat to lead block for the potential QB pull.
Nix follows Shenker—who is probably the most underrated player on the offense—and walks in to the endzone.
Another big time drive.
AUBURN DRIVE 5:
Starting at the 7:54 mark in the 3rd quarter.
1st and 10 - OUTSIDE ZONE RIGHT
Massive shift as guys like Capers, Stove, and Schwartz were all lined up as RB’s and H-Backs.
Excellent rep by the OL here—particularly Hamm, Jones, and Brahms who work their guys all the way to the sideline.
Shivers finds some room outside of them and this is the beauty of this play. Stay on your block as long as possible and the RB will do the rest.
2nd and 6 - JET MOTION, PLAY ACTION: FAKE JET SWEEP DRIVE & RB WHEEL
It looks like Coach Morris saw what I saw and came back to it—and guess what—it’s there again.
Nix NEVER looks at the wide open wheel by MAR and dumps it down to Stove in the flats again.
It bothered me the first time.. this time it’s just maddening.
Stove gets the 6 yards and first down, but the throw to MAR is going to be huge if he goes there. The last guy that would be able to make the play is being run off by Seth Williams.
1st and 10 - FAKE INSIDE ZONE, SPEED OPTION RIGHT
The pitch was perfect. The quick pause to show IZ was perfect.. Shivers hit another gear to get away from a defender who absolutely had him for a loss.
Great blocking by Eli Stove on the perimeter and Kobe Hudson down field. 12 yard gain and Shivers punishes a defender at the end as he loves to do.
One of my favorite play calls of the season.
1st and 10 - RPO: INSIDE SPLIT ZONE LEFT w/ FLAT PASS TO PEGUES
Fantastic job by Manning who slips and still keeps his hat on the hip of the DL and keeps him walled off.
Troxell and Deal are folding the next DL and Deal snaps off to cut off the LB to open a huge hole for Bigsby
Bigsby breaks a huge one with a great cut reminiscent of Deandre Swift in the SEC Championship game against AU.
37 yard burst and momentum is heavily swinging AU’s way.
They have a chance to twist the knife here, so to speak.
1st and 10 - RETURN MOTION, JET MOTION, INSIDE ZONE LEFT
Brahms and Manning do a great job on the combo, but A&M has an extra guy in the box unaccounted for and that makes Bigsby motor down.
I would coach him to run through the flat-footed defender and get as much as possible as he is the last guy who could stop a TD. Bigsby is too hesitant here in my opinion.
2nd and 8 - ACROSS MOTION, FAKE SCREEN & GO
I believe the idea here was pump the screen and then throw over the top to Shenker.
Shenker was double covered however and Nix quickly gives it to Hudson on the screen who gets a few.
I didn’t really get this call at this moment as it is a do or die time to get 6 points and not 3. I would’ve stayed on the ground with Bigsby.
3rd and 6 - DROP BACK: FADE TO FRAZIER
Frazier checks in and they wanted to give him a shot. He splits out from TE to wideout
It was not a good ball to give Frazier a chance and the play call here bothers me.
The margin for error is too slim and this is absolutely 4 down territory with a chance to really put A&M in a tough spot. Instead A&M gets a huge victory here to force the field goal.
AUBURN DRIVE 6:
Starting at the 13:25 mark in the 4th quarter.
1st and 10 - INSIDE ZONE RIGHT, STEELERS LEFT
Third time we saw this play as AU was finding a lot of success on the perimeter.
Shivers decides to cut up instead of trusting his speed to the edge. I would’ve rather him drag this one out as there was a good block going on by Williams on the perimeter.
2nd and 11 - RETURN MOTION, FAKE END AROUND DEEP CROSSER
The crosser was there earlier so I definitely agree with coming back to it.
The coverage couldn’t have been better and Nix had time to wait in the pocket but he’s going to make quick decisions in those situations.
3rd and 9 - ACROSS MOTION, DROP BACK: BACK SHOULDER TO CAPERS
Again, a very slim margin for error.. not a bad call but it would’ve been very tough to connect with that one.
Coverage was really good again. Texas A&M is much improved on defense.
AUBURN DRIVE 7:
Starting at the 8:12 mark in the 4th quarter.
1st and 10 - ACROSS MOTION, INSIDE ZONE LEFT
I gave Bigsby a lot of credit earlier in the game as he hit the IZ perfectly.
This time there is a really nice lane off of Manning and Brahms’ combo.
Bigsby finds it way too late and leaves yards on the field.
2nd and 8 - DROP BACK: OPTION ROUTE TO SCHWARTZ
A&M runs a twist and gets by Troxell and Manning badly.
Manning has to hold him so to not get to Nix.
The option route was taken away by two defenders and this play was just a disaster from the start.
3rd and 12 - DROP BACK: RB DELAYED OUT
Same play from before. I talked about my thoughts on it above and I still feel the same way in this situation.
It feels like the protection isn’t trusted in these 3rd and long situations.