Freshman Bo Nix connected with Seth Williams on a 26-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining to give No. 16 Auburn a thrilling 27-21 victory against No. 11 Oregon on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Trailing by a point, Auburn started at its own 40-yard line with 2:14 remaining. Facing fourth-and-3, Nix ran for a first down at midfield with 1:21 showing.
When Nix hit Williams with a 13-yard pass to the Ducks’ 26 with 34 seconds left, it appeared Auburn had set up a field-goal attempt. But the Tigers stayed aggressive, as Nix and Williams teamed up for the game-winning scoring play.
Oregon’s Justin Herbert finished 28 of 37 for 242 yards and a touchdown. He has thrown at least one TD pass in 29 straight games, the nation’s longest active streak.
Nix, the first true freshman quarterback to start the season for the Tigers since 1946, completed 13 of 31 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Auburn’s JaTarvious Whitlow ran 24 times for 110 yards. CJ Verdell led Oregon with 76 rushing yards on 14 attempts.
Auburn’s Joey Gatewood, beaten out by Nix for the starting QB job, dived into the end zone from the 1-yard line to make it 21-20 with 9:48 on the clock.
Nix’s 11-yard scoring pass to Eli Stove pulled the Tigers within 21-13 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Darrian Felix’s 6-yard TD run with 9:23 left in the third quarter widened Oregon’s lead to 21-6.
The Tigers moved within 14-6 on Anders Carlson’s 25-yard field goal with 4:41 remaining in the first half. The score was set up by Big Kat Bryant’s 83-yard return of a Herbert fumble.
The Ducks went ahead 14-3 when Spencer Webb grabbed Herbert’s 20-yard pass in the end zone with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
Carlson’s 40-yard field goal pulled Auburn within 7-3 with 3:17 to go in the first quarter. Verdell’s 1-yard run gave Oregon a 7-0 lead with 10:13 left in the first.
The game was a rematch of the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, in which Auburn edged Oregon 22-19 on a field goal as time expired.
—Field Level Media