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Auburn lands from Georgia's top athlete for the 2025 class

Taylor Jones
~2 minutes

Hugh Freeze and the Auburn Tigers have added another valuable piece to its already impressive 2025 haul.

Kendarius Reddick, a four-star athlete from Thomasville, Georgia, announced Thursday that he has committed to Auburn. He chose the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Georgia Southern.

Reddick visited Auburn twice since receiving an offer on April 5. He received an offer on his first visit, and he took in a game earlier this fall as well. Defensive backs coach Zac Etheridge has been his primary recruiter and has done a great job of swaying Reddick to join the 2025 class.

“It was a great experience to come up here,” Reddick said in an interview with Auburn Undercover. “Listen to Coach (Etheridge), talk about the experience, the growth of the team, and what they’re trying to build. I really like the environment around here. I think I’d fit good in this environment so I’ll be looking into it.”

Reddick’s commitment is the second commitment that Auburn has received for the cycle this week. Monday, four-star DL Jourdin Crawford announced his pledge to Auburn.

Reddick’s commitment sends him to the top of the class. He is the No. 1 athlete from the state of Georgia and the No. 41 overall recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He jumps Jakaleb Faulk as the top commitment for the 2025 class.

Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on  X (Twitter), and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinions. You can also follow Taylor on Twitter @TaylorJones__

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Auburn DB coach Wesley McGriff temporarily stepping away from Tigers

Lance Dawe

2–3 minutes

Auburn's defensive backs coach is briefly stepping away from the team.

Auburn's defensive backs coach is stepping away from the team.

Per Brandon Marcello of 247Sports, DB coach Wesley McGriff is temporarily stepping away from on-field duties for a "personal matter." Tanner Burns is stepping in to fill on-field duties. McGriff is still working with the team daily.

McGriff is on his third stint with the Auburn Tigers, having served as an assistant coach at Auburn in 2016 and again in 2019-20. He was the secondary coach at Louisville this past season.

At Louisville in 2022, McGriff mentored one of the stingiest secondaries in America as the Cardinals forced 15 interceptions, good for the 10th-best total in the country and second-best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team allowed the fourth fewest passing yards per game (206.5) in the league, and junior defensive back Kei’Trel Clark went on to earn all-ACC honors for the third straight season.

Auburn is sixth in the SEC in passing yards per game allowed (216.0) and is tied for second in the conference in interceptions (seven) and total turnovers gained (11).

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The Fearless Forecast Remember this guy Our picks are in for Ole MissAuburn

David Johnson
7–8 minutes

No. 12 Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) plays at Auburn (3-3, 0-3 SEC) Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

The only blemish on the Rebels schedule came the very last time they played in Alabama, a 24-10 setback to the Crimson Tide. Ole Miss is trying to defeat Auburn in back-to-back seasons for the first time in more than seven decades.

Vegas favors the Rebels by 6.5 points at this writing. Here is how the Inside the Rebels staff figures the game will play out.


It is a reunion game with Hugh Freeze Part II. Who cares? That should be the attitude of the Rebels of whom there is not a single player on the roster who ever signed or played for Freeze. It really is a non-factor to Ole Miss on how this game will play out.

Auburn has struggled to find an offensive identity and its task will be to find one against coordinator Pete Golding's Rebels. The Tigers don't pass it well, nor do they run it very well, surprisingly. Look for Freeze to slow his offense down to a crawl in order to limit the Rebels' offensive possessions. I don't believe he thinks he can trade licks with the Ole Miss offense for four quarters.

This is a pivotal game for the Auburn season. If the Tigers win, they could find a spark down the stretch run. If they lose, the out-of-control spiral for the first-year Freeze staff will continue.

For the Rebels, it's about the chase. It's about keeping pace with Alabama in the West. While it's not wise for coaches and players to look ahead, it is really the next step toward reaching that Nov. 14 game at Georgia with just the Alabama loss. Ole Miss trying to get to a place where the end result of the game matters. It must beat Auburn to move ahead to the next week with that goal in tact. Our Rebels might be chasing something bigger than we can imagine

I digress.

Don't forget that Auburn's defensive coordinator is Ron Roberts. Roberts came close to being hired at Ole Miss twice under former head coach Matt Luke. It even got to the point that he came to Oxford for a sit-down interview. He was passed over each time. And yes, he was the Baylor defensive coordinator when the Rebel offensive line was humiliated in a Sugar Bowl loss a few years back.

Jordan-Hare Stadium is a tough place to play, but Ole Miss will win this game.

And the chase will continue.


12046984.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offset-y0.50&width=620&height=320 Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)


Truth be told, I did not know that Ole Miss hasn't beaten Auburn in back-to-back seasons since the Truman administration. That's mind-boggling. I have always known though that Jordan-Hare Stadium has always been a house of horrors for Ole Miss for whatever reason.

This game being picked for a primetime ESPN slot was no accident nor without reason. There will be storylines one way or another. But look at the matchup itself, there's plenty of reason to believe why Ole Miss will win. 

Auburn's offense (particularly the passing game) has been a bit of a dud so far. There's questions as to if they can go up-tempo or not... let me remind you that this is Hugh Freeze's offense we're talking about here. If the Tigers have to be one-dimensional, they're in trouble. Then again, there's another side to this and that's Ole Miss' defense. Tackling has been a point of emphasis in the bye week, and Auburn's offense does have some pretty athletic guys to make that hard.

Offensively, we've seen what Ole Miss can do when firing on all cylinders, but that's easier said than done when on the road in one of the most hostile environments in college football. It's imperative that the Rebels don't get in their own way and limit the mental errors coming out of a bye. Lane Kiffin said it best earlier this week, Auburn is a much different team at home, no matter what the record is. 2021, anybody?

This was one that I had a very weird feeling about earlier in the week. I know Hugh Freeze, and I know for a game like this, he'll have his guys ready to play. The question is, can Ole Miss match that intensity and maintain it throughout a game? But as the week has gone on, I've felt more and more confident in picking the Rebs to move to 6-1 and 3-1 in SEC play. Next!



Good riddance bye week and hello Auburn. After a much-needed rest period after battling up some bang ups, some more significant than others, the Rebels are ready to hit the road for their second away SEC matchup. They’ll be in Alabama once again. 

I think getting the experience they did down in Tuscaloosa four weeks ago, helps this Ole Miss squad become better equipped to handle the atmosphere they’re going to see in Jordan-Hare Stadium come Saturday night. The Rebels are going to have to take the crowd out of the game early and often. That means exceptional execution on third and fourth down all four quarters.

Just looking at the matchup on paper, Ole Miss SHOULD win by a couple of scores. That’s just my opinion just from what I’ve seen from both teams to start the season. That being said, this is not only an Auburn team playing in their own backyard, but also a team led by Hugh Freeze who probably had this game circled almost as soon as he got the job. They’re going to give Ole Miss their best shot since their backs are up against the wall in this one. Similarly to how Arkansas was going into their matchup with the Rebels. The Freeze factor also adds some extra motivation to their side. 

However, I’m going to the side in which Ole Miss wins by at least two possessions. If this was last year’s team I would say this is their game to lose, but it’s not. So far this season, Lane Kiffin’s Rebels have shown a vastly different product than last year’s squad. Whether it be team comradery, overcoming adversity or execution, this team has done it and in crunch time as well. 

I like how the Rebels matchup defensively in this one. Auburn’s pass attack is among the worst in the conference and I would think Pete Golding is going to make them throw in order to win on that side of the ball. Their offensive strengths come in their ground attack and even then I like Ole Miss’ front to limit the success they’ve enjoyed in that department in previous weeks. 

At the end of the day, I think Ole Miss’ offense keeps rolling as well and leads them to their third-straight SEC victory. I don’t expect them to have Jordan Watkins, even though Kiffin said he’d play, but I think Rebel fans should still have more than enough confidence in the pieces around Jaxson Dart. I like tight end Caden Prieskorn as an X-factor in this one.  

The environment is going to be very hard to overcome, but this game will also tell you a lot about the 2023 Rebels, one way or another. 


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Auburn football gets commitment from Kendarius Reddick, No. 1 ranked class of 2025 ATH

Updated: Oct. 19, 2023, 12:51 p.m.|Published: Oct. 19, 2023, 12:36 p.m.
2–3 minutes

Football: Auburn vs Alabama State

Sep 11, 2021; Auburn, AL, USA; Aubie in tiger walk before the game between Auburn and Alabama State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Todd Van Emst/AU AthleticsTodd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Auburn football landed its highest-rated pledge of the 2025 class so far when No. 1 ranked athlete Kendarius Reddick from Thomasville, Georgia announced his commitment to Hugh Freeze’s team Thursday.

Reddick is rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 41 overall player in the 247Sports composite ranking as well as the top athlete. His Instagram post lists him as a safety, where he has played frequently in high school and Reddick was recruited by Auburn defensive backs coach Zac Etheridge.

Reddick is Auburn’s fifth commit for the 2025 class which is now ranked No. 4 in the country by 247Sports. Reddick is also Auburn’s second 2025 commitment this week after defensive lineman Jourdin Crawford committed to Auburn on Monday.

If Reddick does go on to play defensive back in college, then his commitment comes on the heels of two class of 2024 de-commits which could impact Auburn’s secondary. Four-star cornerback Jayden Lewis de-committed earlier this week and four-star athlete Jalewis Solomon, who has played both sides of the ball in high school, de-committed earlier in October.

The commitment of Reddick also comes just after the news of defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff stepping away from the team temporarily. A report from 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello said McGriff left for a “personal matter.”

Matt Cohen covers Auburn sports for AL.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @Matt_Cohen_ or email him at mcohen@al.com

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Freeze says the ‘process of becoming’ has been harder at Auburn than it was at Ole Miss. Why?

Updated: Oct. 19, 2023, 12:50 p.m.|Published: Oct. 19, 2023, 11:51 a.m.

5–7 minutes

Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze believes in the “process of becoming.”

It’s the same process that helped Freeze rise from the high school football ranks to being the head coach of a place like the SEC.

It took patience, stops at Lambuth University and Arkansas State and getting over plenty of bumps in the road that came along the way.

That same process is why Freeze prefers recruiting high school kids over plucking them out of the transfer portal.

“My preference would be to develop kids,” Freeze said. “But the process of becoming is kinda being lost.”

Today’s society is one that constantly seeks instant gratification.

When Freeze was introduced as Auburn’s 31st head coach on Nov. 29, 2022, a local television reporter asked the burning question that every Auburn fan in America was itching to know the answer to: How soon?

How soon what?

How soon could they expect their mighty Tigers to be back towards the precipice of college football?

When Freeze was smacked with the question during his introductory press conference, he could’ve easily puffed out his chest and said something along the lines of, “Well, just look at my track record.”

But instead, Freeze took the conservative route.

“I wish I could say,” Freeze said. “I haven’t had a chance to even evaluate our roster yet.”

Eight months later when he met with local reporters in a small breakout room at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Nashville prior to his appearance at the podium at SEC Media Days, Freeze said he was a bit shocked at just how depleted the roster he inherited was.

“I don’t want to be negative,” Freeze said. “Just, it was off from what I believe an Auburn roster should look like.”

Just 277 days stretched between the day Freeze was introduced as Auburn’s head coach and the day the Tigers’ kicked off the 2023 season against UMass on Sept. 2.

Having to work against the hands of time — though he prefers developing players out of the high school ranks — Freeze was handcuffed to the transfer portal, where he hoped he could find quick fixes to plug into certain positions.

Between transfers and freshmen, Auburn welcomed more than 40 new faces to its roster during the offseason and many arrived at The Plains as late as May.

“I don’t even know all the names yet, truthfully,” Freeze said in late-July. “We’re gonna have to wear tape on the helmet again.”

Let that sink in.

Folks were wanting to know just how quickly Freeze could right the ship at Auburn the day he was introduced as head coach. Meanwhile, Freeze admitted to reporters eight months later that he still didn’t know everyone on his roster’s name.

That said, Freeze wasn’t hopeless when he arrived at Auburn. He did mention that he’d had quick success in his previous stops – most notably at Ole Miss.

Before Freeze took over the helm of the Rebels’ program in 2012, Ole Miss had won just one conference game across two seasons.

By year three, Freeze had Ole Miss beating Nick Saban and playing in New Year’s Six bowl games.

Come year four, Freeze and the Rebels beat Alabama again – this time in Tuscaloosa. Ole Miss also returned to a New Year’s Six bowl game – this time beating Oklahoma State.

And as Freeze’s former team comes to visit Auburn for a game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, it’s easy to want to dig up those comparisons between Freeze’s takeover in Oxford, Miss. and his takeover at Auburn.

But it’s also not fair.

“The one at Ole Miss was similar, but the expectations may not have been as high as they are here, which adds a little pressure to you sometimes,” Freeze said when asked to compare the two situations on Wednesday.

High expectations are good.

But sometimes they need to be tempered.

“We’ve got a team that 11 of the 22 starters at LSU had never started an SEC game prior to this season,” Freeze explained Wednesday. “And only five of the 22 had made an SEC start in three seasons.”

Meanwhile, Brian Kelly’s roster boasts 14 players with double-digit starts with LSU and five players with 20 starts or more with the Bayou Bengals.

Look at Ole Miss’ projected starting lineup for Saturday and you’ll see that the Rebels have 10 starters with double-digit starts with the Rebels and four players with 20 starts or more.

Freeze spent time stammering as he looked for words to further elaborate on the comparison between the situation he inherited at Ole Miss and the situation he inherited at Auburn last November.

“It’s the growing pains,” Freeze finally said. “I think we’re a young team and one that has very little experience playing in this league. “Can we coach better? Yes. And hopefully we can play better. We’ve seen signs of it, but I think we’re a young team and one that has very little experience playing in this league.”

The “process of becoming” comes with growing pains. And after last week’s 48-18 loss to LSU, Auburn coaches, players and fans alike are beginning to feel them.

And patience isn’t an easy thing to have.

“It’s not easy, and it shouldn’t be easy,” Freeze said. “It takes you embracing the grind and then going to work and enjoying the process of becoming.”

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PMARSHONAU Phillips Thursday morning musings

Phillip Marshall

6–7 minutes

Talking Auburn football with former coaches

I talked to two former coaches who are very close to Auburn football. Here are some things they told me about what they see as Auburn's football team prepares to play host to No. 13 Ole Miss on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium:

--Hugh Freeze has a quandary. If he turns to Robby Ashford as the fulltime starter, Payton Thorne will likely be done for the rest of the season.

--Freeze has little choice but to play both quarterbacks. The problem that arises is that, when things don’t go well, fans blame the starter and immediately start clamoring for the backup. Today’s social media amplifies those who are the loudest and create a sense of dysfunction even when it is not there.

--Thorne is a far more polished passer than Ashford.

--A large percentage of Auburn’s passing game problems are not on the quarterbacks. It’s not the offensive line, either, which has played better than any Auburn offensive line in a while.

--Auburn is going to be in a difficult place all season on defense. No depth, especially up front, means all kinds of problems that really can’t be fixed.

--Defensive coordinator Ron Roberts has done a remarkable job putting together gameplans. His players just weren’t up to the task at LSU.

--The biggest challenges for Auburn’s defense are avoiding injuries and having enough juice left in the fourth quarter.

--Never underestimate the value of playing at Jordan-Hare Stadium, especially at night.

Patience will be required

I don’t give advice to anyone who doesn’t ask for it, but the reality is that if Auburn fans are going to be upset when things don’t go as they would like, they probably have more bad days to come.

The thing so many don’t seem to recognize is that this team started the season with very little margin for error. After losing three starters on defense, that margin for error almost vanished completely. Auburn can go into every game from here on out with the belief that it can win. And it can. But it can also lose. That will continue to be the case, regardless of what happens against Ole Miss on Saturday.

Hugh Freeze wants to win more than any fan, but his main mission is to build a program. He will certainly get time to do it.

I understand patience is in short supply, but it’s going to take some.

A difficult Auburn stretch

Since beating Ole Miss 31-20 on Oct. 30, 2021, Auburn has won just two of 15 SEC games. Only Missouri’s astonishing giveaway last season at Jordan-Hare Stadium kept it from being one out of 15. If that sounds bad, it is because it is. And that is the situation Freeze inherited.

In that 15-game stretch, Bryan Harsin was 1-8. Interim Cadillac Williams was 1-2. Freeze is 0-3.

Freeze was dealt an unfortunate hand by his first Auburn schedule with the first three SEC games coming at Texas A&M, against No. 1 Georgia at home and at LSU. Auburn was a double-digit underdog in two of those games and more than a touchdown underdog at A&M. And Saturday Auburn will an underdog at home against Ole Miss.

The turnaround will come. It always has. But how long it will take is hard to say. I predicted before the season that Auburn would go 7-5. I am sticking with that. If it happens, this will have been a successful season.

Difficult stretch for Texas A&M, too

Meanwhile, despite historic recruiting success, Texas A&M is going through similar times. The Aggies have lost nine of their last 12 games against Power 5 teams and eight consecutive road games. When Auburn and Texas A&M are in such difficult spots, the SEC West suddenly doesn’t look as fearsome as it once did.

A strange Arkansas season

Arkansas might be the most interesting team in the SEC West. The Razorbacks lost 34-31 at LSU on a last-second field goal. They lost 24-21 at Alabama. They took Ole Miss to the wire in Oxford before falling 27-20. Yet, they have lost five consecutive games. A 38-31 loss to BYU at home started that losing streak.

Is collective bargaining the answer for college athletes?

Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbick says he believes it is time for college sports to collectively bargain with athletes. On it’s face, that’s not a bad idea. But like everything else involving college athletics these days, it would be complicated.

More than 5,000 young men play Power 5 football. Double that number for all FBS programs. That is 10,000, give or take. It is a far higher number than in any professional league. Who would then represent all those athletes? No doubt, so-called student-athlete advocates would be lined up for the job, not because they are committed to the well-being of student-athletes but because they want to get their hands on the money.

Losing Bowers brings uncertainty for Georgia

A big SEC question is whether Georgia can close out another unbeaten season with superstar tight end Brock Bowers sidelined. The Bulldogs are off this week before closing the SEC season with games against Florida in Jacksonville, at Missouri, Ole Miss at home and at Tennessee. Winning them all won’t be easy.

Normally, losing a tight end wouldn’t be enough to raise questions. But Bowers is no ordinary tight end. He is Georgia’s leading receiver and one of the better players in the country at any position.

Michigan still has something to prove

Michigan has been one of the more dominant teams in the country and is the apple of national pundits’ eyes. But there is more than meets the eye. Michigan is 7-0 but has not played a team that is even receiving votes in the AP poll, much less being ranked.

If strength of schedule means anything, the Wolverines haven’t proved anything but their ability to crush overmatched opponents.

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Auburn Opponent Preview Tigers face active Ole Miss defense

Jason Caldwell

4–5 minutes

Auburn takes on Ole Miss on Saturday night at 6 p.m.

While the numbers may not show it, currently 59th nationally in scoring defense and 82nd in total defense, Ole Miss comes into Saturday night’s game at Jordan-Hare Stadium an improved group on that side of the ball thanks to another big haul from the transfer portal prior to this season. Of the 24 players listed on the defensive depth chart for the Rebels this week, 16 are players that started their careers at another Division 1 school before heading to Oxford.

That added experience and talent is a big reason why the Ole Miss defense is one of the best in the country at producing negative plays. The Rebels are 18th nationally, producing an average of 7.8 tackles for a loss per game on defense. 

A place the Ole Miss defense has really struggled is on third downs this season. Through six games, the Rebels have allowed the opposition to convert on 41-94 attempts (43.6 percent). That is currently 105th nationally and ahead of only Kentucky and Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference. 

Depth is the key for the Ole Miss defense with 12 different players combining for 22 sacks in six games and 21 players playing a part in 47 tackles for a loss in six games. The linebacker group is the engine that drives the Rebels on defense, led by the middle linebacker duo of Khari Coleman and Ashanti Cistrunk. The seniors have combined for 63 tackles, five sacks and six and a half tackles for a loss already this season. One of the biggest impact players has been true freshman Suntarine Perkins. A 5-star signee for the Rebels, he has 14 tackles and leads the team with three and a half sacks on the season.

Up front, Ole Miss has plenty of depth to work with in their 3-4 look, much of it from the transfer portal. Former Auburn player JJ Pegues has been solid this season with a pair of sacks while Georgia Tech transfer Jared Ivey and James Madison’s Isaac Ukwu have combined for five sacks and eight and a half tackles for a loss at the other defensive end spot.

In the secondary, Alabama native Trey Washington leads the team with 42 tackles with Miami-Ohio transfer John Saunders Jr. a big addition at the nickel, collecting 32 tackles with one interception and four pass breakups. 


89 JJ Pegues (6-2, 315, SR*-1L, Oxford, Miss., Auburn) 

95 Akelo Stone (6-2, 280, JR-TR, Savannah, Ga., Georgia Tech)


90 Stephon Wynn Jr. (6-4, 310, SR-TR, Anderson, S.C., IMG Academy) -OR

0 Joshua Harris (6-4, 325, SR*-TR, Roxboro, N.C., NC State) -OR

51 Zxavian Harris (6-7, 335, SO-1L, Canton, Miss., Germantown)


15 Jared Ivey (6-5, 265, SR*-1L, Suwanee, Ga., Georgia Tech)

99 Isaac Ukwu (6-3, 260, SR-TR, Upper Marlboro, Md., James Madison)

97 Jamond Gordon (6-2, 290, SR-2L, Meridian, Miss., East Miss. CC)


2 Cedric Johnson (6-3, 265, SR*-3L, Mobile, Ala., Davidson)

4 Suntarine Perkins (6-3, 205, FR-HS, Raleigh, Miss., Raleigh)


23 Khari Coleman (6-2, 220, SR*-1L, New Orleans, La., TCU) -OR

36 Ashanti Cistrunk (6-1, 230, SR-4L, Louisville, Miss., Louisville)


11 Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste (6-2, 230, SR-TR, Florida City, Fla., UCF)

8 Monty Montgomery (5-10, 225, SR-TR, Norcross, Ga., Louisville)


5 John Saunders Jr. (6-2, 200, SR*-TR, High Point, N.C., Miami OH)

13 Ladarius Tennison (5-9, 200, JR-1L, Rockledge, Fla., Auburn)


3 Daijahn Anthony (6-0, 205, SR-TR, Richmond, Va., Liberty) -OR

16 Teja Young (5-11, 195, SR-TR, West Palm Beach, Fla., FAU)


25 Trey Washington (5-11, 205, JR-2L, Trussville, Ala., Hewitt-Trussville) -OR

1 Isheem Young (5-10, 215, SR*-1L, Philadelphia, Pa., Iowa State)


6 Zamari Walton (6-3, 185, SR-TR, Melbourne, Fla., Georgia Tech)

9 DeShawn Gaddie Jr. (6-1, 190, SR-TR, Indianapolis, Ind., N. Texas)


7 Deantre Prince (6-0, 185, SR-3L, Charleston, Miss., NE Miss. CC) 

14 Demarko Williams (5-10, 175, SO-1L, Atlanta, Ga., Westlake)

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Is Hugh Freeze jealous of Lane Kiffin’s offense? Auburn fans should hope so.

Updated: Oct. 19, 2023, 7:24 a.m.|Published: Oct. 19, 2023, 6:00 a.m.

5–7 minutes

If Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze said he was jealous of Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, no one could blame him.

In each of his stops before Auburn, if Freeze’s run-pass-option and up-tempo offense were compared to a car, folks might’ve said it was fast and shiny. If nothing else, it certainly turned heads downtown and got people talking.

“I probably wouldn’t be sitting here today if it wasn’t for tempo offense and RPO world,” Freeze said Monday.

Younger guys around town like Lane Kiffin took notice of the attention Freeze’s car was getting and followed suit when it came time to purchase one of his own.

Now Kiffin sits in the driver’s seat of an Ole Miss offense that goes just as fast — if not faster — than the one Freeze once piloted at Ole Miss and then at Liberty.

“Lane (Kiffin) and Charlie (Weis Jr.) want to go fast all the time,” Freeze said of Kiffin and his co-offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. “That’s hard to prepare for, for sure.”

Unfortunately for Freeze, when he arrived at Auburn, he learned quick that the car he was inheriting didn’t have the horsepower it needed to go as fast as he’d like. And the parts store – or transfer portal – couldn’t get him the parts he needed quick enough to help him bridge the gap.

But still, Freeze has tried hard to implement both tempo- and RPO-style offenses at Auburn.

However, neither have worked.

“It’s a very uncomfortable feeling for me to not be in that world,” Freeze said, referring to the RPO and up-tempo styles of offense he’s accustomed to running.

Of 130 teams in the FBS, Auburn ranks 100th in total offense, while its passing offense ranks even closer to the bottom of the barrel. The Tigers are also last in the SEC in scoring offense and yards per completion.

Prior to last week’s 48-18 loss to No. 22 LSU, Auburn hadn’t been able to pass for 100 yards against a Power 5 opponent.

And while Auburn is sometimes able to get the ball moving when using an up-tempo offense, Freeze has to consider the value of keeping the Tigers’ injury-thinned defense on the sideline.

“If you say, ‘Hey man, let’s just go fast’ with them and see if we can do that then you are asking Marcus Harris to play 80 snaps a game,” Freeze said Monday. “Depth issues are… not just Marcus but other defensive linemen, and I’m not sure that’s smart either, so we are still kind of debating on what’s the right approach.”

Meanwhile, when Kiffin and the 13th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels come to Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night, Freeze will have to control his look of envy because Kiffin gets to navigate a fast and shiny car that closely resembles the one Freeze once drove in Oxford, Miss.

Freeze was asked Wednesday if he thought he and Kiffin’s offenses were similar.

“I do think I’ve had offenses before that look similar to what he’s doing there,” Freeze said.

That comment, however, was prefaced by a dose of reality from Auburn’s head coach.

“Well, the first thing is that currently there is a noticeable difference because they’re obviously one of the top ten in the country offensively and we have yet to find and consistency,” Freeze said.

While Auburn’s offense has struggled, the Ole Miss offense ranks eighth in the country in scoring offense and 11th in total offense.

To paint a better picture, Ole Miss stood toe to toe with LSU on Sept. 30, knocking off Brian Kelly and the Bayou Bengals in a 55-49, high-scoring shootout.

But Freeze knew he didn’t have the pieces on his roster to hang around with a high-powered offense like LSU’s.

“I’m not sure we’re quite ready for that type of game,” Freeze said.

And that’s gotta be a maddening thing to hear himself say considering Freeze has feasted on the ability to outscore opponents through much of his career.

Meanwhile, Kiffin and the Rebels have the pieces to do that, starting at the quarterback spot.

While Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart has passed for 1,638 yards, 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions, Auburn’s starting quarterback, Payton Thorne, has passed for just 745 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.

In the backfield, Ole Miss has a feature running back in Quinshon Judkins, who has tallied 443 yards and six touchdowns through six games this season.

Meanwhile, Auburn running back Jarquez Hunter has rushed for just 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Tigers’ leading running back, while Thorne’s 304 rushing yards leads the team.

Comparing the pieces of Auburn’s offense to the pieces of Ole Miss’ offense is like comparing apples to oranges.

And it’s that talent on the Rebels’ offense, paired with their depth on defense that allows Kiffin to drive his car with the throttle wide open.

But Freeze can’t blame Kiffin. Because heck, Freeze wants to drive his car fast, too. But he just doesn’t have the horsepower at the moment.

Does Freeze hope to change that in the future?

“Absolutely,” Freeze said. “I like those stats I see from Ole Miss, so I hope.”

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Jason Caldwells Thursday Tiger Trax

Jason Caldwell
4–5 minutes

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Jason Caldwell's Thursday Tiger Trax

It's a busy weekend on the Auburn campus

It’s going to be a busy weekend at Auburn in addition to Saturday night’s 6 p.m. kickoff against No. 12 Ole Miss at Jordan-Hare Stadium. On Friday at 3 p.m., the Auburn Equestrian team takes on Georgia at 3 p.m. Later that night, the Top 25 Auburn volleyball team faces off against Missouri in the first of two home matches this weekend at Auburn Arena. The first comes Friday night at 6 p.m. against Mizzou and the second is 1 p.m. on Sunday vs. South Carolina. Later Sunday afternoon, the Auburn women’s soccer team has senior night as the Tigers take on LSU at 4 p.m. at the Auburn soccer complex. 

In addition, fans wanting to get a look at the Auburn men’s basketball team will have that chance on Saturday before the football game against Ole Miss. Coach Bruce Pearl’s team will scrimmage from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Auburn Arena. The doors will open at 1 p.m. Auburn was picked sixth in the preseason Southeastern Conference rankings while big man Johni Broome was picked as a first-team selection. 

Following a pair of show-stopping performances at the Fallen Oak Collegiate and MartinFed Invitational, Auburn men’s golfers Jackson Koivun and Josiah Gilbert were named Southeastern Conference Players of the Week, the league office announced Wednesday. 

Koivun was named Co-Golfer of the week and Gilbert earned Co-Freshman of the Week. Gilbert received the honor for the first time in his career while Koivun earned his third overall SEC weekly recognition with a second nod as golfer of the week. Earlier in the fall, Koivun became the first true freshman in school history to win golfer of the week. 

Auburn’s third team title of the season would not have been possible without the performance of Koivun. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina native shot 68-73-68 (-7) to finish second and lead the Orange & Blue lineup to a 19-shot victory at the Fallen Oak Collegiate Invitational in Biloxi, Mississippi. 

Koivun was the lowest-scoring player from the league at the tournament. He also beat the nearest freshman in the field by 14 strokes. 

Gilbert’s showing consisted of a third-place finish and a 66-69-70 (-11) scorecard at the MartinFed Invitational in Florence, Alabama. He set a new career low for 54 holes by eight shots and helped the Tigers’ “B” team to a silver finish at the event. 

Auburn closes its fall season Oct. 30-31 at the Cypress Point Classic in Monterey, California. It will be an eight-team Ryder Cup-Style tournament.

Kendarius Reddick, the No. 1 ATH in 2025, commits to Auburn

Reddick visited Auburn in the spring and once this fall, seeing everything he needed to.

Another one is on the board for Auburn in 2025, and it's a big one. Kendarius Reddick, ranked as the No. 41 player, No. 1 athlete and No. 7 player in Georgia in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, announced his commitment to Auburn on Thursday. 

He previously visited Auburn in the spring and for a game earlier this fall. Secondary coach Zac Etheridge has led the charge in his recruitment.

"It was a great experience to come up here," Reddick said previously. "Listen to Coach (Etheridge), talk about the experience, the growth of the team and what they’re trying to build. I really like the environment around here. I think I’d fit good in this environment so I’ll be looking into it."

Listed as an athlete, at 6-foot and 165 pounds, Reddick was primarily being recruited as a defensive back. Other major offers for the Thomas County Central (Ga.) product includes Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and UCF.

Auburn was the school that stuck out the most, though.

"It’s not just football here, it’s family," Reddick said. "That’s one thing that stands out to me."

Earlier this week, Auburn landed a commitment from Top247 defensive lineman Jourdin Crawford out of Parker (Ala.). Reddick pushes the class to five commitments, joining OPelika (Ala.) defensive lineman Malik Autry, Highland Home (Ala.) pass-rusher Jakaleb Faulk and Athens (Ala.) offensive tackle Spencer Dowland.

Auburn's 2025 class is No. 4 in the 247Sports team recruiting ranking, behind just Georgia (8 commits), Alabama (7 commits) and Notre Dame (6 commits).

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