Over the weekend, the Auburn football team pulled off a big win on the West Coast against the Cal Golden Bears. With an audience of thousands of Tiger fans—a mix of cross-country travelers and locals—the team found a way to win, even if it was one of the ugliest victories seen.
The defense were the true heroes of Saturday’s late-night matchup, providing big stops over and over again while the offense struggled badly. One of the main issues for the offense was the lack of playmaking coming from the quarterbacks.
Though Payton Thorne was declared QB1 prior to the season opener, head coach Hugh Freeze made it clear that the Tigers need backup Robby Ashford, and that he will continue to have a role on the offense. What that role will look like, though, is still being worked out.
Thorne and Ashford shared the QB job on more than half of the Tigers’ possessions in the game, which Freeze explained was due to lack momentum. The offense struggled to find a rhythm, with repeated mistakes and penalties that continued to hold them back.
Freeze said he isn’t sure what he wants the QB rotation to look like moving forward, but he knows the Tigers cannot have a repeat of the past weekend’s offensive performance, especially with the grueling SEC slate on the horizon. However, he does know that Ashford will continue to get playing time, per Auburn Undercover:
"“Robby’s got to get his touches,” Freeze said. “We had a really good package for him, had a good drive going in that package. And then one of our running backs went the wrong way and created a negative play and got us behind the chains. So it was just one thing after another offensively, which ultimately it has to start with me and our offensive staff as to why we did some of the things we did.“That’s the big challenge,” Freeze said of finding the right quarterback rotation. “I do not like the way the other night went with it. … That is absolutely something that’s on my mind, and we’ve got to figure it out.”"
With one more game at home before Auburn football heads to Texas A&M to take on the Aggies, Freeze and the coaching staff will surely place a lot of importance on helping the quarterbacks understand their roles and on improving the passing game.