On Monday morning, the Auburn football team began their most anticipated series of spring practices in quite some time. After two years of uncertainty and mediocrity under Bryan Harsin, the Tigers have turned the page and begun the Hugh Freeze era.
For the first time in a long time, there is hope and optimism on the Plains. No one is expecting a championship year (although it would be nice) but there is expectation that there will be definite improvement from last year. Freeze and his coaching staff face a long list of challenges with this program, but have taken them head on from the beginning.
One of the most important things that needs to be addressed ahead of the 2023 season is the offense. Last year’s offense had no identity and struggled on nearly every play for a multitude of reasons including the offensive line and the newness of Robby Ashford. However, a new group of linemen have arrived on campus and Ashford is back and ready to prove himself as the Tigers’ QB1.
After the 2022 season, it was revealed that Ashford played most of the year while battling injuries. Even so, he has proven that he has the heart and the determination—so can Hugh Freeze improve his skills enough to make Auburn football’s offense formidable?
According to USA Today’s John Adams, addressing the above problems could put the Tigers in a position to be very successful, and he has pegged them as an SEC dark horse contender in 2023:
"Former coach Bryan Harsin was an awful hire. New coach Hugh Freeze is the just the opposite. He’s a perfect fit for Auburn, knows what it takes to win in the SEC and has made quick fixes. His biggest challenge: Turning Robby Ashford into a competent passer. – Adams"
There’s a long way to go before September, but the Auburn football team certainly has a lot of work to do before the season arrives.