Greg McElroy gives insight on what Auburn's offense will look like with QB Payton Thorne
Greg McElroy is a big fan of the potential fit between Auburn and new quarterback Payton Thorne.
Thorne didn’t have a great season in 2022 with Michigan State, but McElroy believes Auburn’s offensive system under new OC Phillip Montgomery could play to his strengths.
“By all accounts, [Hugh Freeze] is delegating responsibility to Phillip Montgomery, the new offensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers. And if you look at Phillip Montgomery’s tenure as the head coach at Tulsa, they’re a team that wants to pound the football.
“Granted, not necessarily always great when it comes to wins and losses in his time as a head coach, but you knew what their identity was. They wanted to pound the football, they wanted to run the football. They wanted to compliment the run game with the play-action pass. And that’s what Payton Thorne has excelled with in the past. I expect him to have a really nice year.”
During his 3 seasons at Michigan State — 2 as a starter — Thorne completed 61% of his passes for 6,493 yards, 49 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He averaged 7.5 yards per attempt with the Spartans.
Here’s McElroy’s full thoughts on Thorne’s fit in Auburn’s offense in 2023:
Photo via ESPN College Football/YouTube.
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Thorne is a good plug and play QB for Auburn in Freeze’s first season on the plains. He’s not going to be a Heisman contender, but he appears to be someone that can be a steady hand and give this offense the consistency that has been missing for a while. I’m hopeful Auburn can find its way back to the middle of the pack in the SEC in year one of the Freeze tenure.