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Fans got a chance to witness first year head coach Bryan Harsin’s 2021 Tigers Saturday during Auburn’s A-Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“It was great to see the fans,” Harsin said. “Our guys appreciated that. I know it helped us.”
The announced crowd at A-Day was announced to be 25,210, which is the largest at Jordan-Hare Stadium since before the pandemic began last March, the team reports.
Senior center Nick Brahms said it was fun to get back in front of the fans, and a good atmosphere to have fans back in the stands.
“I love when the fans are in the stadium,” Brahms said. “Can’t wait for fall. Obviously the best atmosphere in college football at Jordan-Hare Stadium, so.”
Auburn Athletics reports that Tank Bigsby scored on a 46-yard touchdown run up the middle, Bo Nix fired a 4-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Canion and kicker Anders Carlson hit field goals of 28 and 34 yards – one for each side – to give the mostly first-string Auburn team a 17-3 win over the Tigers.
“The only way you get better is playing the game,” Harsin said. “I saw some solid execution with our blue [first-team] offense. I thought that blue defense played well. Our second offense did not move the ball very well or very consistently but I think that’s because of the defense playing around the football fast and getting to them.”
Nix completed 12-of-20 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown to Elijah Canion.
Canion caught six passes for 52 yards and ran five times for 29 more yards during the spring game.
“Being out there today in front of everybody was really fun,” Nix said. “It reminded me of how it should be here in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Looking forward to fall for sure.”
The first-year head coach said the QB made good decisions throughout the game.
“I thought Coach Bobo did a good job of really challenging him and making him operate, and that’s what you want to see from your quarterback,” Harsin said. “He’s a weapon. He’s got the ability to extend plays and make plays. He did that today.”
Senior safety Smoke Monday set the tone for the first-team defense with a tackle for loss after a completion on the opening play. It marked one of five TFLs for the first unit, the team reports.
“The defense did a good job today,” Monday said after the game. “The D-line looked really good. The linebackers look good all the time, that’s nothing new. We have a lot of things we can work on. It was a really good spring.”
Redshirt freshman Nick Curtis was responsible for the only takeaway as he recovered a fumble that Kamal Hadden forced.
Bigsby, the 2020 SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year, earned offensive MVP honors after rushing for 64 yards on seven carries, adding 22 receiving yards on two catches.
“I feel like the offensive line is doing great,” Bigsby said. “I feel like they came a long way with the little things. They’re going to be great.”
Trey Elston was the defensive MVP after making a game-high six tackles and broke up a pass, while kicker Anders Carlson was the special teams MVP.
Auburn will conclude spring practice Monday and will officially kick off the season on Sept. 4 when Auburn hosts Akron in the season opener. The team said in its media release it hopes to do so with a return to full stadium capacity.