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The Auburn football team’s slide just got worse.
After losing its second straight game Saturday — this time, 43-34 to Mississippi State, despite leading 28-3 in the second quarter — the Tigers will be without starting quarterback Bo Nix for the rest of the season because of an ankle injury he suffered in the second half.
“The road to recovery begins tomorrow,” Nix said on his Twitter account Sunday. “Bones break and things change, but God is always the same.”
Nix kept playing until late in the game, completing 27 of 41 passes for 377 yards and two touchdowns. The junior from Pinson, Alabama, is ranked 86th nationally and 11th in the SEC in efficiency on 197-of-323 passing for 2,293 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions. He has rushed for 168 yards on 57 carries with four touchdowns.
Nix will be replaced by TJ Finley, a sophomore from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, who has completed 17 of 33 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns in a backup role. Auburn (6-4, 3-3 SEC) plays at South Carolina (5-5, 2-5 SEC) at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. Auburn is a touchdown favorite by FanDuel.
Finley replaced a struggling Nix against Georgia State and helped direct a come-from-behind, 34-24 victory on Sept. 25 as he completed 9 of 16 passes for 97 yards. He threw a 10-yard touchdown to wide receiver Shedrick Jackson on fourth down with 45 seconds to play for a 27-24 lead.
Finley started five games at LSU as a freshman in 2020. He transferred after spring practice as he was behind both projected starter sophomore Max Johnson and senior Myles Brennan, and true freshman Garrett Nussmeier was turning heads during spring drills as an early enrollee.
In his first start last season, Finley completed 17 of 21 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in a 52-24 LSU win over South Carolina. He finished 2-3 as a starter with a win at Arkansas and losses to Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama. Finley threw a 13-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jaray Jenkins with 3:59 to go for a 27-24 win at Arkansas.
Auburn is also expected to be without kicker Anders Carlson because of an injury suffered on an onside kick against Mississippi State. The Tigers close the regular season against Alabama (9-1, 5-1 SEC) on Nov. 27 at home.