Auburn, AL: It was another Monday afternoon and the media were back again inside the Auburn athletics complex for the weekly Monday press conference. The Tigers once again struggled in the game, but recorded a different result, winning 17-14 over the Missouri Tigers in overtime. After only recording 217 yards of offense and going 3-16 on third down, the topic of discussion once again focused on the quarterbacks. Following his first start as a Tiger and throwing 12 completions for 127 yards, quarterback Robby Ashford was listed as the QB1 going into this Saturday nights matchup versus the LSU Tigers in the last of five straight home games for Auburn.
“I thought Robby managed things well…I thought under the circumstances…he did a good job. He made some good decisions for us, we took care of the football…he played well, he utilized his legs, he made some good throws at times…that’s something to build on going into this week,” said Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin on how he thought Robby Ashford performed in his first start as an Auburn Tiger.
For Ashford, this was his first time being the QB1 for Auburn since transferring from Oregon this past off season to join the Tigers. While it may not have been the start he has wanted since joining the Tigers, he was crucial for Auburn to come out of last Saturday with a win against Missouri.
“I think it was great just coming in there and just getting that start and just playing the whole game kinda just gave me that confidence to know that I can go out there and do it. I think that was kinda one of my biggest things just making sure just knowing my preparation paid off and it did,” said Auburn starting quarterback Robby Ashford on what his first game as a starter was like and how going forward this experience will help him moving forward.
However, the question about quarterback TJ Finley’s health is still of some concern, after he was held out of the Missouri game on Saturday with injury problems. Going into the week, he was listed as QB2 along with true freshman Holden Geriner. Finley had been the Auburn starter for the first three games of the season, going 33 for 53 on passing for 431 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions along with 40 rushing yards and a touchdown.
“He’ll practice this week…we’ll see how the week goes,” said coach Harsin after being asked about TJ Finley’s status this week. So while it looks like TJ will be back this week in some capacity, the question now remains if the Tigers will return to their two quarterback system they ran the first three games of the season.
No matter who is the quarterback that takes the first snap for the Auburn Tigers this Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Tigers come into this game needing another win to keep building momentum as the Tigers now start to ramp up SEC play. The Auburn Tigers will play the LSU Tigers this Saturday at 6 PM CST on ESPN and following that game, Auburn will take their first road trip of the year to Athens to take on the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs at 2:30 PM CST on CBS.