Auburn’s Freeze bullish on possible 2-QB system

NASHVILLE — When Hugh Freeze took over at Be Miss in 2012, the Rebels had misplaced 15 straight SEC video games. They made a bowl in his first season and commenced an upward trajectory that included an look within the Peach Bowl in his third season.

As he takes over at Auburn greater than a decade later, Freeze faces each ambiguity on the quarterback place and uncertainty that he’ll be capable of elevate the Auburn program on a equally fast timeline.

Freeze advised ESPN on Tuesday that Auburn might find yourself enjoying two quarterbacks at instances this season, as incumbent Robby Ashford and Michigan State switch Payton Thorne are anticipated to battle for the beginning place.

“Do I feel it is doable to play two and win?” Freeze mentioned. “I do, really, in the event that they deal with it the correct approach. Somebody goes to must be the starter. And somebody goes to be the man you rely upon within the fourth quarter.”

Ashford began 9 instances for the Tigers final season after transferring from Oregon, going 3-6 over these video games. Thorne hasn’t practiced but for Auburn after leaving Michigan State, however he’s a confirmed commodity with 26 profession begins and a 16-10 document.

Ashford, a dynamic athlete who performed baseball whereas at Oregon, profiles extra as a dual-threat quarterback. Thorne is extra of a pure drop-back passer who would not supply a major risk within the run sport.

“Robby Ashford can assist us win video games,” Freeze mentioned. “He’s essentially the most freakish athlete I’ve ever had at quarterback. Can he be the quarterback? I do not know but. However can we use him to assist us win video games? There is not any doubt in my thoughts if he handles the competitors.”

Freeze acknowledged that the quarterback place would be the key to a turnaround. Auburn is coming off back-to-back dropping seasons, with head coach Bryan Harsin being fired in October final 12 months after beginning 3-5.

Freeze mentioned it would be straightforward to imagine he might juice up a program with a nationwide title pedigree like Auburn as quick as he did at Ole Miss however that issues have modified since he arrived in Oxford greater than a decade in the past.

“My preliminary response could be, ‘Effectively, dang, certainly it is simpler to flip Auburn,'” he mentioned. “However I feel the league’s gotten higher than it was then. And so I am fearful to say it simply looks like all people’s higher. I in all probability caught that job on the proper time the place some folks have been down.”

Freeze mentioned he is curious how huge the hole is between Auburn and the SEC powers, as the perfect gamers within the portal are heading to the bold-faced identify locations across the league.

“It is scary,” Freeze mentioned of the hole. “And I do know I’ve improved [the roster]. However is it sufficient to exit and compete in opposition to Alabama in Georgia in 12 months one, or LSU? I do not know.”

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Printed : 2023-07-18 23:11:27

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