Auburn football: What does the LSU win mean for Auburn?

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn football stormed back after being down 13-0 to beat LSU 24-19 for its first win as a program in Baton Rouge since 1999. But as big as the win is, it’s the tangible lessons learned along the way that may benefit Bryan Harsin’s program the most.

Just a week ago, Auburn probably should have lost to a hungry Georgia State team inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. A late drive from the Auburn offense led by T.J. Finley, who replaced Bo Nix in the second half, culminated in a game-winning touchdown pass on 4th and 9 to Shedrick Jackson to steal a victory from the Panthers’ grasp.

An ensuing pick-six from Smoke Monday padded the score and Auburn walked away with a 34-24 victory over what should have been another dominating performance as Auburn attempted to bounce back from a loss at Penn State.

After narrowly escaping Georgia State Bryan Harsin made a move to switch things up on the offensive side of the ball when wide receivers coach Cornelius Williams was relieved of his duties. And the panic set in. Is Bryan Harsin in over his head? Was Williams a scapegoat? Can this team win an SEC game?

Auburn fans are extremely passionate but we’re also wired to be pessimistic. JABA – Just Auburn Being Auburn is a term that encapsulates those frustrations. And those frustrations were on full display leading up to Auburn’s trip to Baton Rouge. The fanbase was divided into factions based on their preference between Finley and Nix, and regardless of who you wanted to take the first snap in Baton Rouge, there was growing concern amongst this fanbase.

And then when the noise around his program seemed the loudest, Bryan Harsin did something that hadn’t been done since 1999. Auburn football won in Baton Rouge. And they did it in the only way Bryan Harsin would want them to. They fought for 60 minutes. They showed guts. They never backed down from a challenge that had been too big for any other Auburn team in the last two decades.

And Bo Nix? The quarterback cemented himself in Auburn lore after single-handedly carrying the Auburn offense to a win. Nix finished the night 23-44 for 255 yards and one touchdown through the air and added 74 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

Just like this team, Bo Nix quieted the noise and played his game. He made play after play after play including what may be the play of the year in his touchdown pass to Tyler Fromm. And regardless of your feelings about Bo Nix, he is my quarterback, your quarterback, and Auburn football’s quarterback.

We as fans can question, discuss, and analyze the decisions made by Bryan Harsin. Hell, we can even disagree with them. But one thing is certain after the Tigers won in Baton Rouge, his culture and blueprint is working, and we as fans may be the last ones to buy in because this team certainly has.

That was evident when the clock struck midnight and Auburn walked off the field at Tiger Stadium victorious. This team is tough, this team is tenacious, and this program is taking on an identity we should rally around. This is the type of mentality we wanted leading this program, and after Saturday night I don’t think anyone can question that Auburn is in good hands. The future is bright.

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