Bo Nix had a pretty impressive season at Auburn after winning the starting job in his true freshman season. The QB completed 57.6% of his passed for 2542 yards and 16 touchdowns, helping the Tigers to a 9-4 season. With a full year under his belt, Nix looks to improve off of his freshman season in his sophomore campaign. But that is easier said than done. Here are the four reasons I believe Bo Nix’s numbers will regress in 2020. 

4. He has been seen

Coming in as a true freshman, there was not much known about Nix’s style of play. Sure, you can look at high school scouting reports and game film, but you have to take that with a grain of salt – to compare Alabama high school football to the SEC West is to compare apples to oranges. So to prepare for Nix under center was difficult, especially at the beginning of the season. But now Nix has a full season of play that can be watched on film. 13 full games with 8 of them in SEC play. Teams can now see what worked against Nix and what didn’t which will hurt his numbers in 2020. 

3. The Schedule

In 2019 Nix and the Tigers really struggled away from Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn was just 2-2 on the road with those wins against Texas A&M, a game where Nix threw for just 100 yards,  and a very bad Arkansas team. They did beat #11 Oregon at a neutral site, but that was in the season opener, and Nix threw for just 177 yards and 2 interceptions. On the road, the Tigers lost to Florida, LSU, and Minnesota in the Outback Bowl at a neutral site, all games where Nix threw for less than 200 yards. In 2020 Auburn schedule flips and now War Eagle has to play Georgia, Alabama, and an interesting Mississippi State squad on the road, as well as an up and coming North Carolina team at a neutral site. Given Nix’s road struggles in 2019, he’s facing an uphill battle in 2020.  

2. The Offensive Line 

In 2019, Nix was one of the most protected quarterbacks in all of college football. The Auburn O-line only allowed 18 sacks in their 13 games, which was tied for 18th best in the FBS. The only problem: four out of their five starters in the trenches were seniors. Starting center Nick Brahmas is the only returner from last year’s unit, and he only won the job in week 10. Now with four first-year starters blocking for him, Nix will likely have to worry more about escaping pressure than finding receivers downfield. An inexperienced offensive line is certainly a problem for any young quarterback, but especially in the SEC West where defense reigns supreme.

1: Auburn is a run-first offense 

It is really no secret that Gus Malzahn wants to run the football. Since Malzahn took over the program in 2013, the Tigers have rushed for over 3000 yards in 4 out of 7 seasons. Their worst rushing season under Malazahn was in 2018, when the Tigers rushed for just 2177 yards, which was 10th in the conference. Last season, Auburn improved that number, rushing for 2588 yards, good enough for 4th in the SEC. In 2020, with an improving back in JaTarvious Whitlow, who had an excellent sophomore campaign, rushing for 798 yards in 11 games, the Tigers figure to keep the ball on the ground more frequently, giving Nix fewer chances to shine with his arm.

SEC West QB Rankings

They may have lost two quarterbacks in the top five picks of the draft, but the SEC West will be the nation’s best passing conference this upcoming season. Due to Tua Taugovailoa’s injury, six of seven teams have their starting QB making a return to the field – only LSU Myles Brennan has yet to take a snap under center as a teams starting QB. Mac Jones should thrive in the Alabama system, and Bo Nix showcased his potential last year. Is this finally Kellen Mond’s breakout season, and who does LSU really have in Brennan as their signal-caller? Unlike years past, there may not be a clear star to watch, and this will be the year of the entire SEC West.

  1. Bo Nix- Auburn 

The best QB Auburn has seen since Cam Newton has the Tigers excited for this upcoming season. Bo Nix had a promising freshman year leading Auburn to a 9-4 record with an Outback Bowl loss to Minnesota. Although Nix didn’t blow up the stat sheet he proved he can show up in big games, like the Iron Bowl against Alabama, and do whatever it takes to win. Bo Nix reminds me a lot of Justin Herbert – his numbers may not dazzle, but with he’s a physical prototype at quarterback, and he’s a winner. Look for Nix to lead the Tigers to Atlanta next December.

  1. Mac Jones- Alabama 

Mac Jones had it rough in Tuscaloosa last season, as he was pretty much the ‘guy that wasn’t Tua’. Alabama fans now cannot complain about Mac Jones since their savior has up and gone to the NFL, and they will come to realize that it is a good thing. A perfectly run Nick Saban offense has defenses preparing for the ground game and still runs it down everyone’s throat. With Tua under center, the Tide got away from their ground and pound style on offense and they paid the price for it, missing the Playoff for the first time in program history last season. Putting Jones under center allows the Tide to return to their gritty style of offense and return to glory.

  1. Kellan Mond- Texas A&M 

How is Kellan Mond still in college and at what point do we all stop expecting him to be great? Kellan Mond is a good QB. He isn’t great and will never bring A&M to the playoff, but you can consistently count on A&M ending the season 9-4 ,winning every game they are favored in and losing every game they are an underdog in. Kellan Mond will have a good season and the Aggies should sit top 4 in the West and ranked in the Top 25 when the season is over.

  1. KJ Costello- Mississippi 

The Pac12 is coming to the SEC… kind of. This past offseason was big for Mississippi State, bringing in Head Coach Mike Leach from Washinton State and poaching Stanford’s starting quarterback in KJ Costello. Although Costello struggled his junior year, he threw for over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns his sophomore year. I expect big things from Costello in Mike Leache’s air raid offense so look for another 3,000-yard season, around 35 passing TD, and a 7-5 record this upcoming season in Starkville. 

  1. John Rhys Plumlee- Ole Miss

Lane Kiffen is back in the SEC, and his starting QB is expected to be John Rhys Plumlee. Last season as a true freshman Plumlee split time under center with Matt Coral but made the most of his time when on the field. Plumlee threw for 900 yards and 4 TD’s while running for 1,000 yards and 12 TDs. With Plumlee being the guy this season in Oxford, I expect a 2,000 yard passing and rushing season from Plumlee, along with 30 all-purpose touchdowns. The man is athletic and one of the fastest QB’s in the SEC – I expect some offensive fireworks this season in Oxford. Expect a 6-6 season from the Rebels for Kiffen and Plumlee’s first season together.

  1. Feleipe Franks- Arkansas 

Feleipe Franks just screams .500. The quarterback is mediocre in everything he does. His career completion percentage is just around .500 his team was always slightly over with a career winning percentage of .642 which, for Florida,won’t cut it in the SEC East. Franks getting hurt may end up being the best thing to happen to Florida football since Tim Tebow. I expect Franks to go .500 at Arkansas and to struggle mightily in his new environment of the SEC West. 

  1. Myles Brennan- LSU

Myles Brennan is the one QB in the SEC who has yet to start a game. Freshman year Brennan backed up for Danny Etling, and sophomore and junior year, he backed up for the great Joe Burrow. After patiently waiting his turn Brennan is set to be the guy in Death Valley this fall with huge shoes to fill. I wouldn’t expect him to have a Joe Burrow-type season, but I expect him to be decent. People may read these rankings and believe I’m saying he sucks, but Brennan is 7th purely from the fact that he is in the best passing conference in the country, and he is the only one who hasn’t proven himself. I anticipate a solid if not spectacular 8-4 season for Brennan and the Tigers.

Daily Headlines: Auburn land’s Bo Nix’s successor

The big key to winning national championships nowadays is recruiting game-changing dynamic quarterbacks. Joe Burrow (1st overall), Trevor Lawrence (1st overall), Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa (5th overall and 2nd round), and DeShaun Watson (12th overall) have all been big-name draft picks and responsible for the past four national championships. Auburn, in a three-way battle for supremacy in the SEC West with Alabama and LSU, recruited a game-changing quarterback in Bo Nix. Nix became the first Auburn true freshman to start the season opener and was eventually named SEC Freshman of the year. He will have at least two more seasons to lead the Tigers to the promised land, but meanwhile, Auburn is already focused on bringing in more sensational talent under center.

Dematrius Davis is a four-star recruit out of Houston, Texas, and he’s rated as the sixth-best quarterback in his class. Nine days ago, he decommitted from Virginia Tech, a move that had been in the works for a few months. Auburn, who recruited Davis hard despite his verbal commitment to the Hokies. They even turned down two quarterbacks hoping to commit to Auburn, something that impressed Davis and factored into his decision. He also said his initial commitment to Virginia Tech was based on getting to play his first year, but he later decided the chance to play behind “someone like Bo Nix” for a year and compete for SEC and National Championships was worth it.

Davis’s commitment is a huge win for Auburn, who now has relative security at the quarterback position for the next five or six seasons, a spectacular rarity in college football.

Evansville Trasfer DeAndre Williams commits to Memphis

DeAndre Williams only played in 18 games due to injury in the 2019-2020 basketball season, but he starred for the Evansville Purple Aces, averaging 15.2 points per game as well as seven rebounds. Although he struggled in limited action after returning from injury, Williams, who scored 28 points in his final pre-injury contest, was a commodity on the transfer market after deciding to leave the hapless Purple Aces. Evansville went 0-18 in Missouri Valley play, ending the year on a 19-game losing streak. Thus, Williams announced he would be heading to Memphis, choosing the Tigers over Kentucky, Baylor, and Arkansas. He’ll be a big asset for Memphis, who is losing star freshman Precious Achiuwa to the draft.