Report Card: Grading Auburn’s 60-10 win over Akron

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What a great way to start off the Bryan Harsin era.

Auburn thumped the Akron Zips 60-10 on Saturday night. It’s the most points Auburn has scored in a head coach’s debut, breaking the previous record held by Gene Chizik (37 points vs Louisiana Tech in 2009).

Offensively, Nix was focused and having fun. Defensively, Auburn didn’t force any turnovers, but the defensive line looked furious. Had the starters stayed in, Auburn would have shut the Zips out. A complete performance from the Tigers deserves high praise. This is exactly what fans needed to see as a confidence booster heading into the next two weeks.

Here’s my report card on each individual unit for the Tigers.

Quarterback: A+

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Nix looked incredibly sharp in Auburn's season opener. Nix completed 20 of his 22 pass attempts for 275 and three touchdowns. He also added 34 yards on the ground. Borderline perfect from QB1. If I had to nitpick, there were a couple of deep throws that weren't extremely accurate, but two of the three I can recall were a touchdown to Ja'Varrius Johnson and the 42-yard bomb to Shedrick Jackson, so no complaints here.

Running Back: A+

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn's running backs had themselves a night. Tank Bigsby finished with 119 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Shaun Shivers finished with 24 yards and a score on two carries, and also had his first receiving touchdown of his Auburn career. Jarquez Hunter had 110 yards and a late touchdown on 9 carries. He had his first touch in the third quarter. Walk-on Sean Jackson got into the action, with two carries for 22 yards.

Wide Receivers: A+

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Auburn had nine players catch a pass on Saturday. Shedrick Jackson (five receptions, 79 yards) finished the night tied for the most receptions. The player tied with him? Tight end John Samuel Shenker (five catches, 38 yards). Auburn fans, don't freak out. The tight end position is apart of the offense. Ja'Varrius Johnson finished with three catches for 51 yards and a score. Kobe Hudson snagged a couple catches as well, one of which went for a 28-yard touchdown.

Offensive Line: A+

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Auburn's o-line was a major factor in Nix's efficiency against the Zips. Nix never faced a situation where he was under pressure. Auburn collection 310 rushing yards was a sign that this unit knows how to run block, and will do so well in SEC play.

Defensive Line: A+

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Auburn's defensive line produced six sacks and 10 tackles for loss, as well as what may arguably be the most impressive stat from either side of the ball: a collective -3 yards rushing allowed by this team. Akron ran the ball five more times than Auburn did and finished with negative yardage.

Linebackers: A+

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn's linebackers flew to the ball on Saturday. Zakoby McClain led the way with seven tackles. Chandler Wooten finished with six, and Owen Pappoe finished with four, including a TFL.

Secondary: A+

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Auburn's secondary gave up 191 yards passing to the Zips. 129 of those yards came from backup Zips QB DJ Irons (13 of 13, 129 yards, one touchdown) with the third-string defense in. It's not concerning, but I would have liked to have seen Auburn not give up two fourth-down conversions through the air late in the game. No turnovers from the defense isn't a knock on the secondary, but if I'm really going to nitpick, Auburn could have gotten an interception had they kept the starters in. Regardless, Auburn's secondary played very well.

Special Teams: A+

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Carlson made a 44-yard field goal late in the second quarter and kicked five touchbacks. The kick and punt returners did not get much action.

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