Auburn football: Samford/New Mexico State preview crossed the line in the eyes of many Auburn football fans with their inflammatory cartoon depicting new Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze Mandatory Credit: The Montgomery Advertiser crossed the line in the eyes of many Auburn football fans with their inflammatory cartoon depicting new Tigers head coach Hugh Freeze Mandatory Credit: The Montgomery Advertiser /

Last up on the non-conference portion of our Auburn football schedule preview are the two smallest schools on the schedule. Samford and New Mexico State have drawn the short sticks of being Auburn’s warmup games before Texas A&M and Alabama, respectively.

Part one covers the UMass Minutemen.

Part two covers the California Golden Bears.

While Auburn would be wise to not look past any opponents in such a big transitional year, these two teams and opener UMass present chalk wins for the Tigers. Let’s talk about it.

Related Story. Analyst tabs this game as most important for Auburn. light

Auburn football Preview: Samford Bulldogs

The third set of Damn Bad Dawgs on Auburn’s schedule hail from right here in beautiful Alabama. Birmingham Metro, specifically Homewood, is home to Samford University. The Bulldogs last came to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2019, when the Tiger offense under Gus Malzahn and Bo Nix went for 85 plays, 544 yards, and 52 points. The defense held Samford to just 114 yards.

Before that, the 2014 version of the Tigers struggled to get any rhythm, putting up just 386 yards of offense and 31 points the week before one of the highest scoring Iron Bowls in history.

The only other game against Samford with a box score is 2011, when once again, Auburn didn’t have great rhythm going into Iron Bowl week (that Iron Bowl was the beginning of the end for Gene Chizik).

History tells us that Samford gives Auburn fits. History also shows that Gus Malzahn was the playcaller in the last three matchups: in 2011 as offensive coordinator, and 2014 and 2019 as head coach. Not only is Gus Malzahn now at UCF lighting up scoreboards like the olden days, Auburn has jettisoned He Who Shall Not Be Named in favor of the guy who wanted the job all along, Hugh Freeze.

Samford is coming off of an 11-2 season in which they won the Southern Conference and their only two losses were to eventual national runner-up North Dakota State in the FCS Quarterfinals, and eventual CFP National Champion Georgia. They aren’t to be taken lightly this year, just as in years prior.

My guess is that Hugh Freeze and Philip Montgomery dial up the new look Auburn spread iso offense to 13 and leave no doubt in Week Four heading into arguably the biggest game of Auburn’s season.

Auburn football Preview: New Mexico State

Poor NMSU. The Aggies have visited Jordan-Hare Stadium thrice, and thrice the walls of Jordan-Hare Stadium have been painted red with their blood. Even the 2012 redacted Auburn football squad managed 475 yards and 42 points against them. And they get to come visit Jordan-Hare Stadium before Hugh Freeze’s first Iron Bowl.

Assuming that no significant injuries are around heading into this one, my guess is that Payton Thorne goes for multiple touchdowns and Auburn gets a good tune-up heading into Iron Bowl week.


Auburn’s non-conference slate is weak this year. There’s just no way to get around that. The combined record of these four teams last year was *checks notes* 23-27. Take out Samford’s 11-2 and the record drops to 12-25. That averages out to 4-8.3.

What that means is that outside of Samford, Auburn should have ABSOLUTELY no problem dispatching these squads.

Once again, War Eagle.

Next. Malik Blocton dishes on his recruitment, commitment. dark