ARLINGTON, Texas — Talk about a season opener living up to the hype. True freshman quarterback Bo Nix connected with Seth Williams on a 26-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining to lift Auburn to a 27-21 victory over Oregon in the AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium.
The Ducks took one last shot, but the Hail Mary pass from Justin Herbert sailed out of the back of the end zone. The contest was the only one to feature two ranked opponents on open weekend. Oregon came in ranked No. 13, while Auburn was the No. 16 team in the country. The game was also a rematch of the 2011 FBS National Championship Game in which the Tigers knocked off the Ducks, 22-19, in a battle of unbeaten teams in Glendale, Arizona. Nix attended the game as a young Auburn fan. Things didn’t look good for Nix and War Eagle for most of the rematch. Oregon jumped out to an early lead and never trailed until Nix’s dramatic touchdown toss. The Ducks were ahead, 14-6, at the half But Auburn scored the final 21 points of the game after falling behind by two touchdowns with 9:23 left in the third quarter. Nix threw for 177 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first college start. Jatarvious Whitlow also had a big game for Auburn, rushing for 110 yards on 24 carries.
— Chuck Cox