Auburn quarterback Zach Calzada mentioned among 2022 clutch performers

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A new era will begin this upcoming season for the Auburn Tigers. A new quarterback will be under center on the Plains for the 2022 college football season. The question remains as to who will take hold of the starting role.

We know the top candidates led by returning starter from the last three games, TJ Finley. He is joined by a pair of Power Five transfers in Oregon’s Robby Ashford and Texas A&M’s Zach Calzada. The battle was listed among 247Sports’ most intriguing quarterback battles of the spring.

While many believe that ultimately Calzada will win the job, Bleacher Report recently listed him as a top clutch performer in 2022. He joins Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young and Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo as the trio of SEC players to make the list.

What Bleacher Report Says…

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Auburn will have a new addition to its quarterback room in 2022 in Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada. In 2021, Calzada finished the year with 2,185 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

But Calzada will be remembered for his impressive performance against then-No. 1 Alabama.

Although TAMU led 24-10 at halftime, this game had a wild finish. With five minutes left in the fourth, Alabama took a 38-31 lead—its first lead since the first quarter. But Calzada responded by putting together a 65-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 38 with three minutes to go.

Calzada subsequently went into the injury tent after taking a big shot on his touchdown pass to Ainias Smith. Following a Bama three-and-out, Calzada came out of the tent and went back on the field. He drove the Aggies offense down to Alabama’s 30 to set up a game-winning field goal to complete the thrilling upset.

With an inexperienced group at wide receiver, the quarterback play will be monumental for the Tigers’ success in 2022. Calzada lost the starting job to freshman Haynes King but ultimately became the starter after King went down with an injury against the Colorado Buffaloes.

He was hit or miss for most of the season but rose to the occasion against the Crimson Tide. Head coach Bryan Harsin needs him to be more of the quarterback they saw against Auburn’s biggest rivals and less of the quarterback from the rest of the 2021 season.

List

Spring Preview: A look at the Auburn quarterback battle