USA TODAY Sports names Hugh Freeze a ‘winner’ following first game at Auburn

The first game day of the Hugh Freeze era ended just as sweetly as it began.

Freeze said after Auburn’s 59-14 win over UMass that his day got started with several text messages from past colleagues at Ole Miss, Arkansas State, and Liberty, and it continued with his family getting to take part in Tiger Walk. After the game, the celebration continued as upwards of 30 family members joined Freeze at his home for a postgame dinner.

Auburn fans call the first day of a new era a success, and it is relieving to see that members of the national media share the same sentiment.

Paul Myerberg of USA TODAY Sports released his “Week 1 college football winners and losers” list Sunday morning and the Tigers head coach has made it to the winners column.

The Freeze era at Auburn kicked off with a 59-14 win against Massachusetts, which was fresh off a Week 0 upset of New Mexico State. While three quarterbacks combined for a pedestrian 203 yards on 14 of 25 passing, most from starter Payton Thorne, six players ran for at least 30 yards as the Tiger racked up 289 rushing yards and six scores.

It is refreshing to see Auburn on the positive side of Myerberg’s list, which has not been the case over the last two years. Freeze addressed quarterback performance Saturday, in which he said that Thorne “made three mistakes.” Robby Ashford showed his athleticism by scoring three touchdowns in the special red zone package designed for him.

The bright side is that neither quarterback committed a turnover, which is a positive heading into the rest of the season. The Tigers will work on their craft this week before traveling to California for a late-night showdown with the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday night.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire