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Greg McElroy encouraged by additions Auburn made ahead of 2024

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater07/09/24


The State of Auburn Football in 2024

Auburn hasn’t had more than six wins in the 2020s with three consecutive losing records. However, that streak could come to a close this fall with how Greg McElroy views some of the moves made by the Tigers this offseason.

McElroy assessed the breakout potential of Auburn during a recent episode of ‘Always College Football’. That began with a look back to year one for Hugh Freeze which, as we know, was pretty up and down with how they performed from game to game during the overall season.

“I don’t think Auburn is ever going to be the type of program under Hugh Freeze that’s going to settle for moral victories. It’s just not who they are but they played Alabama really tough, they played Georgia really tough. But then they also had moments where you’re like ‘what the heck was that?’ against New Mexico State late in the year,” McElroy recalled.

“There were a couple moments but that’s year one. That’s just the way it goes,” said McElroy. “Year one under a new coach is going to be that way from time to time.”

2024, though, sets up nicely in McElroy’s opinion, especially with what they added at wide receiver. They had one of the worst passing games in the conference last season, which falls for the most part on the quarterback and his receiving corps. Still, with a second year for Payton Thorne as well as a pair of impactful wideout pickups, McElroy expects it to be much better.

“I am optimistic, though, that they have added and addressed the issues of last year’s team,” said McElroy. “The biggest problem with last year’s team? People might say quarterback. Might say, at the beginning of the season, the offensive line. Maybe the front seven defensively. I think the biggest issue was wide receiver. They went out and they addressed that very quickly.”

“In the recruiting process, they go out and get Cam Coleman, one of the best wide receiver prospects in the country coming out of high school,” McElroy continued. “In the transfer portal, they go out and add KeAndre Lambert-Smith, who I think is a really good add for them. I don’t know if he’s ever going to be a top-flight wide receiver. But I think he has got a real chance to be a top-level number two in the SEC. In the event in which Cam Coleman takes off, which is a very real possibility? He’ll be a tremendous piece, a tremendous security blanket there for Payton Thorne out on the perimeter.”

Pair that with a manageable schedule and McElroy sees a path for Auburn to really get on a roll. That could then set up the bounce back with the best season of the decade for the Tigers.

“We know what happens with Auburn when they get going a little bit, right? When they get going and they have a really good September, have a good start to October? The momentum gets going. Then, next thing you know, they become very, very difficult to deal with down the stretch,” said McElroy. “That could happen with this year’s team with the schedule, the way it sets up.”

“Don’t be shocked if Auburn is sitting there at 4-0, 5-0 heading into the meat of their schedule,” McElroy said. “It wouldn’t shock me. That’s for sure.”