July 12, 2024

Auburn suffered a lopsided defeat at the hands of Maryland in the Music City Bowl, with head coach Hugh Freeze playing a significant role in the loss. However, rather than taking responsibility, Freeze attempted to distance himself from the team’s performance, claiming minimal involvement and pointing fingers at his own coaching staff.

The Tigers, concluding Freeze’s inaugural regular season with a 6-6 record, faced embarrassment in Nashville, especially given the essentially home crowd. Maryland dominated with a 31-13 victory, establishing a 21-point lead in the first quarter that proved insurmountable. Auburn only displayed signs of life late in the second half when seniors and backups took the field.

Hugh Freeze Makes Unfathomable Excuse After Ugly Bowl Loss

The offensive struggles were glaring, with starting quarterback Payton Thorne completing less than 50% of his passes for a mere 84 yards. Backup quarterback Holden Geriner’s performance was even worse, completing only one of six passes for eight yards, accompanied by an interception. Running back Jarquez Hunter managed just 44 yards on 13 carries.

In a disappointing turn of events, Freeze exacerbated the situation by deflecting blame onto his coaching staff during the postgame press conference. Despite being asked to evaluate the offensive strategy and its shortcomings, Freeze responded with a lack of accountability and sass, claiming minimal involvement due to recruiting responsibilities.

His statement that he only delved into the game plan in the week leading up to the bowl game, citing recruiting obligations as a hindrance, is both shocking and unacceptable. A head coach should always be actively engaged in shaping the team’s strategy, and Freeze’s attempt to downplay his role while comparing himself to other coaches is unfounded.

The assertion that Freeze’s recruiting responsibilities set him apart from other coaches, including those at Auburn, is baseless. Prominent coaches like Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban, Kalen DeBoer, Steve Sarkisian, and even Maryland’s head coach, Mike Locksley, juggled recruiting alongside playoff preparations. Freeze’s attempt to portray himself as an exception only adds to the frustration for Auburn fans, who not only witnessed a disappointing end to the season but also had to contend with their head coach mishandling the postgame press conference in an unprecedented manner.

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