October 18, 2021

Live updates: Auburn kicks off Bryan Harsin era against Akron – AL.com


Welcome back to Jordan-Hare Stadium, where Auburn is set to open its 2021 campaign and officially kick off the Bryan Harsin era on the Plains.

The teams are set to get started shortly after 6 p.m., with the game airing on ESPN+/SEC Network+. Auburn is favored by more than five touchdowns, according to VegasInsider.

AL.com will provide live updates in the space below throughout the evening, so be sure to refresh the page for all the latest action from Jordan-Hare Stadium.

THIRD QUARTER: Auburn 53, Akron 0

— First time tonight that an Auburn drive has not ended with points. Tigers punt after a drive stalls out following a holding call.

Auburn 53, Akron 0 (8:41): T.J. Finley scores his first Auburn touchdown on a sneak near the goal line. Freshman running back Jarquez Hunter did the heavy lifting on that drive, with three carries for 55 yards.

— T.J. Finley is now in at quarterback. Mostly backups now for Auburn, with still a couple starters in along the offensive line.

Auburn 46, Akron 0 (11:06): Akron’s long snapper sends a snap over the punter’s head and through the back of the end zone. It’s a safety, and now Auburn gets the ball back again.

Auburn 44, Akron 0 (12:49): Shaun Shivers gets his second touchdown of the game, this time on the ground. A 26-yard score for the senior running back. Auburn has scored on all seven of its possessions today.

— Auburn’s starters are on the field offensively to open the second half.

HALFTIME: Auburn 37, Akron 0

— Auburn 37, Akron 0 (0:02): Auburn uses its timeouts to force Akron to punt. The Tigers answer with a 2-minute drill to get a field goal on the board in the waning seconds of the half. Anders Carlson connects from 44 yards out.

Auburn 34, Akron 0 (3:10): Tank Bigsby with his second touchdown of the game, this one coming out of a four-tight end set from 1 yard out. Auburn has scored a touchdown on each of its five possessions in the first half.

Auburn 27, Akron 0 (9:44): Bo Nix has been flawless so far today. He’s 10-for-10 passing for 183 yards and three touchdowns after his most recent one — a 28-yarder to Kobe Hudson. That caps a six-play, 92-yard scoring drive that took 2:53 of gametime.

Auburn 20, Akron 0 (14:52): The first play of the second quarter is a 35-yard touchdown pass from Bo Nix to Ja’Varrius Johnson, who was wide open. Nix is now 7-for-7 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

FIRST QUARTER: Auburn 13, Akron 0

— Auburn’s defense forces a turnover on downs after Akron fumbled on fourth down (and couldn’t advance the ball on the recovery). Tigers take over at the Akron 35-yard line to open the second quarter.

— Colby Wooden is back on the field for Auburn’s defense on this drive.

Auburn 13, Akron 0 (1:14): Shaun Shivers with the first receiving touchdown of his career. It’s a 19-yard catch-and-run from Bo Nix to give Auburn the 13-0 lead. Nix is 6-for-6 passing for 71 yards and a touchdown. He has looked comfortable early on.

— Cornerback Jaylin Simpson, who came off the field earlier, is headed to the locker room with team trainers.

— Auburn’s defensive front has been vicious since those first few plays by Akron. On that drive, T.D. Moultry had nice pursuit to the outside on a 2-yard scramble. Derick Hall followed with Auburn’s first sack of the season. Then Marcus Harris got the first sack of his Auburn career on third down to force the three-and-out.

Auburn 6, Akron 0 (6:55): Tank’s here. Tank Bigsby scored Auburn’s first touchdown of the season — a 33-yard run with 6:55 to go in the first, but Anders Carlson misses the PAT. The touchdown caps a six-play, 65-yard drive for Auburn. Bo Nix was 2-for-2 for 16 yards, with both passes to Shedrick Jackson.

— Auburn’s defense pushes Akron back on the next series of plays and forces a punt after a stop on third-and-23. Tigers’ offense takes over at its own 35-yard line.

— Colby Wooden comes off the field holding his wrist after Akron converts another third down.

— Akron converts a third-and-3 early and is approaching midfield.

— Auburn opens with both T.D. Moultry and Derick Hall on the field at the edge positions, with Colby Wooden and Marcus Harris at defensive tackle. Already some variation from the depth chart alignment.

— Auburn kicks off, and Anders Carlson’s kick goes through the back of the end zone for a touchback.


— Auburn will kick off to open the season.

— Brandon Council and Keiondre Jones are getting the first-team reps at left guard and right guard, respectively. They were listed as co-starters at those spots with Alec Jackson and Tashawn Manning, respectively, but it appears the two whose names appeared first will open the game with the starters.

— Freshman safety Ahmari Harvey (undisclosed) is not dressed out for the game, but he is on the field. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Wright (ACL) also in street clothes on the sideline.

— Along with Tar’Varish Dawson, who announced on his Instagram that he would be missing the game, I do not see defensive back Ladarius Tennison on the field. Tennison was among four players – along with Dawson, Harvey and A.D. Diamond — who were not at last weekend’s open practice. Diamond is warming up with the defensive backs.

AL.com will update this post.

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.