Auburn Football Notebook: Few gameday restrictiions, Nix's milestone, more


Auburn Football Notebook: Few gameday restrictiions, Nix's milestone, more

 AUBURN, Alabama – It’s official now. Jordan-Hare Stadium will be open for business when Auburn opens its season against Akron on Saturday night, and there will be few restrictions.

This from Auburn:

  • Face coverings should be worn in Tiger Transit buses, elevators, the press box, and all indoor premium spaces for anyone age two or older (while not actively eating or drinking). Face shields do not meet the medical standard for a face covering.    
  • Face coverings do not have to be worn in open-air athletics venues, but the CDC does recommend wearing a mask in large gatherings.Face coverings do not have to be worn in open-air athletics venues, but the CDC does recommend wearing a mask in large gatherings.
  • Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid delays. Gates and all stadium services open two hours prior to kick-off. Pre-game begins 20 minutes prior to kickoff.
  • Walkthrough metal detectors will be in operation for the 2021 season.
  • New walkthrough metal detector units will be placed at gates 1 and 12 that do not require individuals to empty their pockets to expedite stadium entry. These gates will be express lines for individuals without bags. Individuals with bags will need to proceed to the next closest gate.
  • Jordan-Hare Stadium has a clear bag policy.
  • Fans are allowed to bring in an empty water bottle or cup for use at the complimentary water refill stations, as well as one clear, factory-sealed bottled water. For convenience, complimentary water refill stations are available throughout Jordan-Hare Stadium.
  • The following items are prohibited from being brought into the stadium: artificial noise makers, cameras with lenses over four inches, non-clear bags, outside food and drink, pets, stadium seats with arms, umbrellas, video cameras, and weapons (including pocket knives). 
  • Auburn Athletics will continue to provide digital tickets for the 2021 Football season. Digital tickets help to increase convenience, flexibility, and safety for fans on game days. Click here for more information on digital tickets.
  • Fans will use digital tickets for season/single game tickets and transfers. Digital tickets will be scanned from the ticket holder’s mobile device for entry.
  • Fans are highly encouraged to download their digital tickets prior to arriving at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Downloading tickets at the gate may require additional time due to possible limited connectivity on game days.
  • New pedestal ticket scanners will be located at Gates 1 and 4 on the east side, as well as Gates 12 and 13 on the west side, and in the Neville Suite Lobby. Fans will place their cell phones under the scanner for contactless entry.

NIX POISED TO PASS HIS FATHER

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, heading toward his third season as a starter, has already caught his father in passing yards. Patrick Nix played quarterback at Auburn from 1992-1995 and was the starter in 1994 and 1995.

“That’s pretty good and pretty cool, too,” Nix said. “It’s even better knowing that I’m going to beat him eventually. But I think it just says a lot about the situation and just Auburn in general. I’ve been blessed to be a part of something that was a part of and so many people before me. It’s exciting, and that’s an incredible stat going into a year for sure.”

CARLSON ‘KEEPS IT LIGHT’

Auburn senior Anders Carlson knows all about the pressure of making big kicks. He even knows a little about missing them. But Carlson, a preseason All-American, said Tuesday he doesn’t let the pressure inherent in his job get to him.

“I like to keep it light,” Carlson said. “It can be a challenge at times, but that’s what you sign up for. I think the Good Lord has blessed me with this job. When I’m on the field, I’m doing my work and trying to do everything I can to get better. When I’m off the field I’m enjoying just being with the guys and enjoying my life and not worrying about things I can’t control. Just control the controllables.”

AN ENGAGING KIND OF DAY

When Nix awoke on July 30, he had a game-day kind of feeling, a mixture of excitement and apprehension. And it had nothing to do with football. It was the day he would ask his girlfriend, Izzy Smoke to marry him.

“It had a similar feel to it: a lot at stake, a lot of preparation that went into it,” Nix said. “But I was more comfortable proposing than probably a game day because there is so much on the opposing side that can go wrong a lot of things that they can do. But I was confident in her answer.”

Sure enough, she said “yes” and is now Nix’s fiancé.

CARLSON READY TO KICK SHORT ONES, LONG ONES

Carlson has focused during the offseason on consistency short kicks, but he has ignored work from long distance.

“I’m always trying to stretch my range and improve,” Carlson said. “We’ve backed it up a decent bit in practice recently. I think we’ve been back to 55 a couple times here recently, but that’s something I like to work on my own as well, see if I can test my boundaries, get up to 60 sometimes if there’s a little wind behind me. Three points is three points, so I’m trying to make every kick. I lock on the short ones I’m probably going to get in a game, more likely, than those 60-yarders. We’ll see. You got to deal with both.”

FORMER AUBURN PLAYERS RELEASED BY NFL TEAMS

It's been a rough week for some former Auburn players in the NFL.

Quarterback Cam Newton, who led Auburn to the 2010 national championship and won the Heisman Trophy, was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday. The Patriots also released former defensive tackle Montavious Adams. Running back Peyton Barber was released by the Washington Football Team.

On Monday, wide receiver Seth Williams, who left after last season with a year of eligibility remaining, was released by the Denver Broncos.

NO LOOKING AHEAD FOR TIGERS

Nix says Auburn needs to focus on games against underdogs Akron and Alabama State before turning attention to a trip to Penn State for the season’s third game.

“Having these first two games, before the big national stage game, these two are going to be very important for us,” Nix said. “We've got to come out there and play sharp to give us good, positive energy moving forward and give us some confidence.

“I think having spring ball this year was even more huge for us, just because we get even more repetition. That's something we lost last year. Heading into the season last year, we didn't really know what we had. So, this year, we kind of know a little bit more of our foundation of who we are, and that will help us moving forward. We'll get good at those things those first couple of games.”

THROWING TO THE RUNNING BACKS

Nix says Auburn’s running backs – led by Tank Bigsby – are talented receivers who will get their share of passes in the coming season.

“I think just the offensive scheme will allow that a little bit more,” Nix said. “Those guys have had a good fall camp getting out of the backfield and catching the ball -- a lot of different protections and stuff that allow them to release and get out of the backfield. It's just mainly scheme and finding ways to get Tank the ball in a different way than just handing the ball off to him. It takes some pressure of off him and our line and opens up other things that will allow us to run the ball later in the game.”

SEC FINALIZES FORFEITURE POLICY

If a team can’t play a game this season due to COVID-19 issues, it will be hit with a forfeit. That’s the gist of the SEC policy released Monday. If both teams are unable to play, both will be assessed loss in the conference standings. The SEC will also consider financial reimbursement for any team that has a game canceled through no fault of its own.

‘ALL THE GUYS ARE PUMPED’

Carlson says players welcome their first opportunity since 2019 to play at Jordan-Hare Stadium with a full crowd in the stands. Attendance was limited to less than 20,000 last season because of COVID-19.

“I think as a team, as you can all imagine, we’re extremely excited to be playing, but more importantly we’re extremely excited to be playing in a packed out stadium,” Carlson said. “We loved playing football last year, but there’s nothing like having the environment with the fans, and having your family there is important, too. I think all the guys are pumped. They’re ready to go.”

QUICK HITTERS

--In the only previous meeting between the two teams, Auburn beat Akron 42-0 in 1988. The Zips were coached that season by former Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust.

--Auburn is 102-16-3 all-time in home openers.

--Four players who played elsewhere last season will start for Auburn. They are nose tackle Tony Fair, defensive tackle Marcus Harris, safety Bydarrius Knighten and wide receiver Demetris Robertson.

--Nix will start his 25th consecutive game at quarterback.

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