This weekend saw the Auburn football team take a tough loss from the #1 team in the country. The Tigers played hard and matched up well against the Dawgs all throughout the first half and led for most of the game. But ultimately, it was too much for the Tigers and Georgia left with the win.
In the middle of a rebuilding year, it’s not surprising that the Tigers are dealing with a variety of issues, especially due to the fact that over half the roster just arrived on the Plains this year. Transfer quarterback Payton Thorne got to campus after spring practices, so his first meaningful practice wasn’t until fall camp.
However, while it seems Thorne is finding his way on the offense, many of the struggles lie within a different position group: the wide receivers. Head coach Hugh Freeze pointed out that fact after Saturday’s loss, per Auburn Undercover:
"Of Payton (Thorne’s) nine incompletions, I felt like five should have been caught. It makes a difference in those games, and it makes a difference in how you perceive the play of the quarterback."
Imagine the result of the game if five of those incomplete passes WERE caught by the intended receiver. Freeze has talked about how the WRs need to improve week after week, and it has showed in the Tigers’ more recent contests. Now, while there are several position groups in need as the program puts together recruiting classes for the next few years, Freeze knows where he wants to focus the most:
"“Wide receiver. D-line, o-line, quarterback, all of them are important, but we have to get some guys in the receiver room that can separate and win some one-on-ones.”"
If the Auburn football program intends to pass more, there have got to be receivers that are capable of winning battles and catching the football. Hopefully Freeze can find a star in the next recruiting class.