(1) Georgia
Sat, 11/27 on ABC @5:00 ET
Georgia Tech
Auburn celebrated with its fans after winning at LSU for the first time since 1999 last Saturday. The Tigers are at home against Georgia this week.
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5 questions: Auburn writer Tom Green reveals ‘new dynamic’ under Bryan Harsin

ATHENS — Auburn football is getting fired up in anticipation of rival Georgia coming to town for a showdown on The Plains Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

A national television audience will be looking on at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday when the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs look to remain perfect against the No. 18 Tigers (4-1).

RELATED: Bryan Harsin shares Auburn’s plan of attack against Georgia

Tigers quarterback Bo Nix will be looking forward to the home field advantage as much as anyone on his team, as his numbers are appreciably greater within the Jordan-Hare Stadium confines than on the road.

Nix has 20 TD passes and one interception in home games, but on the road, 14 TD passes and 12 interceptions.

“When a team like Georgia who’s had great success and who’s really good, and they’re going to come in very well prepared, very well-coached, and I think a home-field advantage like Auburn would mean a lot for us players,” Nix said, per AL.com.

The best way to describe Auburn’s quarterback situation, I think, is that this is Bo Nix’s team – at least until it isn’t. Yes, he struggled against Georgia State and was benched, but it says something that he didn’t pout or anything after T.J. Finley led that comeback.

Instead, he got back to work and earned the start against LSU last week. Then that performance happened. It was far from perfect (look at the completion percentage), but it was the best performance of his career, and I think he earned a lot of respect from his team for his play in Death Valley.

While Nix has remained Auburn’s starter, I think the team feels good about its backup situation with Finley – and if Nix struggles again like he did a couple weeks ago, I don’t think Bryan Harsin will hesitate to make the switch.

2. What is Auburn’s biggest team strength?

The biggest strength of this Auburn team is its linebackers, if/when the unit is fully healthy. Zakoby McClain is on a warpath this season after leading the nation in tackles and being snubbed from just about any sort of postseason recognition. Owen Pappoe is a team captain for a reason and has been a Day 1 starter since 2019, but he has dealt with a leg injury the last couple of weeks.

Chandler Wooten returned after opting out last season (while awaiting the birth of his first child) and has been more productive than ever while also being voted a team captain. These guys have unreal chemistry on the field together, and they really set the tone for the rest of the defense.

3. What is the Tigers’ biggest weakness?

Auburn’s secondary has had its share of issues this season, but it’s hard not to point to the wide receivers as the biggest weakness right now. The group lost a lot from last season – Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz and Eli Stove – and have struggled with consistency this fall.

There’s a reason Harsin pulled the trigger and fired first-year receivers coach Cornelius Williams after just four games. The unit is still a work in progress, and there is some promise from guys like Kobe Hudson and Georgia transfer Demetris Robertson, but the receivers still have a ways to go.

4. What are some of the biggest differences for the team with Harsin vs. Gus Malzahn, offensive and defensive identity-wise?

Offensively, look no further than the tight end position. Gus Malzahn rarely used tight ends, and when he did, they were primarily blockers. Under Harsin, Auburn’s leading receiver through five games is tight end John Samuel Shenker, who is coming off the first 100-yard game for an Auburn tight end in 27 years.

The usage of that position really changes the dynamic of Auburn’s offense, especially in the intermediate passing game. Defensively, Mason runs a lot more zone coverage in the secondary compared to the press-man we grew accustomed to seeing under Kevin Steele. That hasn’t always worked to Auburn’s benefit this season, as the secondary has had some trouble adjusting to the zone philosophy.

5. How do you see this game playing out on The Plains on Saturday afternoon?

I think Auburn’s defense should stand up well against Georgia’s run game; the Tigers have been great against the run this year, outside of one-half against Georgia State. But, man, I don’t know if Auburn’s offense is going to be able to crack that Georgia defense and score enough points to pull the upset. Alas, stranger things have happened in Jordan-Hare Stadium.