Disgraced former Auburn football head coach Bryan Harsin was blamed for the Tigers’ Week 4 disasterclass against Texas A&M on September 23 at Kyle Field — this before the game was even decided — by Split Zone Duo host Alex Kirshner.
“Auburn is seeing the results of what Bryan Harsin did to them today,” Kirshner prefaced before saying, “Gonna be a bad time. Also a prime opportunity for A&M to develop an inflated idea of itself based on knocking down what was already rubble.”
Robby Ashford certainly didn’t inspire much before Texas A&M started running up the score, but starter Payton Thorne, who was brought to the Plains via the transfer portal following the 2023 A-Day spring game, long after Harsin was fired on October 31, 2022, was not much better; completing less than 50% of his passes before being yanked.
Auburn football OL is the ‘rubble’ analyst spoke of
The offensive line Freeze had to build through the transfer portal on the fly was a major reason why the Tigers struggled against the Aggies in Week 4. Harsin underrecruited the OL for his roughly 21 months at the helm, leaving the unit with no depth and no continuity.
Thorne and Ashford both had limited time to make plays, though the passes they were able to get off hardly inspired either. Running backs were also largely met with resistance from Texas A&M’s defensive front at the line of scrimmage.
Freeze doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook here, but a program run as poorly as AU was under Harsin, in the bloodthirsty SEC at the very least, is going to have growing pains under whatever regime is taking over for the old one.
In College Station on September 23, there was pain felt all over the place; including a nostalgic pain to the under-protected quarterbacks and nearly non-existent pockets of the Harsin days.