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AU NOTEBOOK: Auburn running back Tank Bigsby eclipses 100 yards for 4th straight game
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AU FOOTBALL

AU NOTEBOOK: Auburn running back Tank Bigsby eclipses 100 yards for 4th straight game

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Auburn v Penn State September 18, 2021 (copy)

Auburn running back Tank Bigsby (4) takes a carry during the Tigers’ game against Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa.

It was no coincidence that Auburn’s second-half surge came together on the back of sophomore running back Tank Bigsby.

Bigsby ran hard throughout Saturday’s game and ended the loss with 23 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The effort stands as Bigsby’s seventh career 100-yard rusing game and his fourth consecutive 100-yard game dating back to last fall.

Bigsby’s two rushing touchdowns against the Nittany Lions marked the fourth time he’s provided multiple scores in a game.

Bigsby now has 185 career carries for 1,177 rushing yards and nine rushing scores.

Shivers, Simpson unavailable

Auburn played without two regular contributors for the second straight week on Saturday night.

Running back Shaun Shivers and cornerback Jaylin Simpson were unavailable for the Tigers’ showdown against the Nittany Lions. Shivers missed the Alabama State game last week for undisclosed reasons, while Simpson left the season opener against Akron with an apparent injury.

Neither Shivers nor Simpson were seen with the team during warmups Saturday.

“Could not attend my Auntie funeral today or the game today,” Shivers tweeted Saturday afternoon.

Shivers, a senior, entered the season as the Tigers’ No. 2 running back behind sophomore Tank Bigsby. Shivers rushed for 24 yards and one touchdown and also had a 19-yard touchdown reception in the team’s season-opening victory over Akron on Sept. 4.

Shivers’ absence opened the door for true freshman Jarquez Hunter, who made the most of his opportunity last week against Alabama State.

Hunter showed out against the Hornets by rushing for 147 yards and one touchdown – a 94-yard score, the longest run in program history – to add to what’s been an impressive start to his first season with the Tigers. Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin later said the team gave Hunter the game ball for his play.

Hunter ended the game with nine carries for 63 yards.

Simpson, who is a second-string cornerback behind Nehemiah Pritchett, played in the season opener against Akron but limped off the field during the first half of the Tigers’ 60-10 victory.

While Auburn played without Shivers or Simpson, the Tigers did get a big boost in the return of sophomore wide receiver Ja’Varrius Johnson, who missed the Alabama State game due to an undisclosed injury.

Johnson ended the game with one reception for three yards.

Crowd sets Auburn record

The Tigers encountered something entirely new in Beaver Stadium on Saturday night.

The 109,958-person crowd on Saturday night marked the largest attendance ever at an Auburn game. The previous record was 107,828, which came at Tennessee in 2004.

Saturday’s attendance marked the 10th-largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history.

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