Even in Auburn’s defeat in Athens, Georgia, Saturday, they found out more about freshman running back Tank Bigsby. Bigsby gave the fans a glimpse of his potential ability on the ground and in the passing game.
Bigsby was given the start at running back for Auburn due to injury complications with Shaun Shivers, Auburn’s starting running back on the depth chart. Running back D.J. Williams received reps in the passing game and as a blocker as Auburn attempted to replace Shivers.
The true freshman was the feature back in the loss despite getting eight carries all game. He was the only running back to receive a carry and led the team in rushing with 31 yards. Quarterback Bo Nix was the only player with more carries on the ground, rushing 11 times in the contest.
“You know, that was the best part of the night, just watching him play,” Nix said. “We’ve just got to get everybody playing like Tank.”
Bigsby also led Auburn in receiving yards with seven receptions for 68 yards. The freshman back had several designed screen passes, but his impact in the passing game came from his play in non-designed short passing yardage situations.
When Nix was forced to scramble or needed to throw the ball quickly to avoid a sack, Bigsby was often placed around the line of scrimmage waiting to help the offense from losing yards.
“You know, that was the best part of the night, I think,” Nix said. “Just watching him play. That guy’s a fighter, I’ve never really seen anything like it. He just competed his butt off, and I mean he was a spark there when we needed one, and he kept us ahead. He made some huge plays there over and over and over, and he’s the one that kind of kept us rolling, so I was really pleased with what we saw out of him.”
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Bigsby’s stats weren’t flashy, but his impact didn’t go unnoticed from the team, and with Shivers’ injury still unknown, Bigsby might have a lot more opportunities in the upcoming weeks.
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