Paul Finebaum gleaned plenty of positives from Auburn (3-2) even though the Tigers couldn’t pull off the upset against visiting No. 1 Georgia in Week 5.

During an appearance on McElroy And Cubelic In The Morning, the ESPN analyst praised Auburn’s effort in the 27-20 loss. Auburn tied the game at 20 with 6:21 left on a 42-yard field goal from Alex McPherson. Georgia (5-0) clinched the victory with a 40-yard touchdown from Carson Beck to Brock Bowers with 2:52 remaining.

The narrow defeat had Finebaum reminiscing of the early days of College Football Hall of Fame head coach Pat Dye, who guided Auburn to 4 SEC titles in the 1980s.

Finebaum believes Hugh Freeze is establishing a recipe for success in his first season at the helm.

“Auburn showed me a great deal. I’m a big believer in setting a template for the future. It reminded me a great deal of Pat Dye’s first year at Auburn. Had a couple narrow misses against SEC teams,” Finebaum said. “But I remember him after the games saying that we’re setting the foundation right now. We may not have won but we’ll beat them the next time and the time after that.”

Auburn jumped out to a 10-0 lead and only lost by 7 despite just 82 passing yards from starter Payton Thorne.

“I felt really very good. I don’t know how I can quantify how Auburn almost pulled that game off,” Finebaum said. “…I came away very impressed with the tremendous effort from everything the coaching staff and quite frankly the crowd played a significant role as well.”

Auburn is on a bye week and will aim to avoid a 3-game losing streak when they travel to take on No. 23 LSU on Oct. 14.