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Bo Nix (10) in the second half. Auburn Football at LSU on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 in Baton Rouge, LA Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

The squad continues to show promise and win some big games, only to fail to remain consistent. Head Coach Gus Malzahn has handed the offensive reins over again this time to long-time friend Chad Morris, and Kevin Steele continues to put solid defenses on the field.

Sophomore quarterback Bo Nix returns after a solid freshmen campaign where he grew up fast. He has an abundance of wide receivers to throw to, as well as a few highly-rated tight ends.

The tailback situation is more intriguing, as last year’s leading rusher Boobie Whitlow entered the transfer portal, but several backs, including D.J. Williams and newcomer Roc Thomas, should fill the void. Auburn’s offensive line has been troublesome for the past couple of years. With only one returning starter, the Tigers must fill the void with juco transfers and other players who need to step up.

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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn celebrtes with the crowd as he leaves the field. Auburn vs Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 in College Station, TX. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

The defense proved quite good in 2019, keeping the team in several games, including LSU, Florida and Georgia, where, if the Tigers’ offense could have just hit one more big play, it would have been a win. The line must replace Derek Brown and Montravius Adams, but Steele uses a deep rotation, so there is talent there. Linebacker will be a big strength this season, and although the secondary lost some talent, the youngsters waiting to step up have received high praise.

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Auburn’s schedule looks quirky in 2020, with their rivalry game with Georgia moved from late November to early October and followed by a home game against Texas A&M. The Tigers finish the season with LSU at home before facing Alabama on the road in the Iron Bowl. As usual, Auburn will probably not be favored in any of those games and will need at least three wins in the bunch to win the SEC West without stumbling in any other conference games.

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An injury while running at Auburn ended Jim Alred’s long-shot hopes of possibly competing in the Olympics, so he turned to writing and has been crafting award-winning stories across multiple mediums ever since. Along the way he’s been chased by a grizzly bear, worked as Goofy at Walt Disney World, been nominated for two Emmys, interviewed celebrities like Tiger Woods, Bo Jackson, Bill Clinton, coaches his daughters in cross country and soccer and can often be found running with his wife, Tara, around Rome.