Ashford preparing for first road test




 

For the third week in a row, Auburn will call on Oregon transfer Robby Ashford to lead the offense as the starting quarterback.

This week will be different, however, as he will start his first road game. The venue? None other than Sanford Stadium against the defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs for the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

No matter the year, Bulldog fans make gamedays "Between the Hedges" one of the most hostile environments in college football. It intensifies when a bitter rival comes to town.

So how is Ashford being prepared to compete in an aggressive atmosphere? Head coach Bryan Harsin says that it is all about handling noise.

"You try to prepare through the week and provide noise and that's really what you can do," Harsin said Monday during his weekly press conference. "He is going into a hostile environment and not going to be favored, and that's just part of the mental side of playing that position, but that goes for everybody. The noise becomes a factor. I think for Robby it's continuing to just to play within himself."

When playing in a loud stadium that is not your own, it is important to strengthen your leadership and communication as a quarterback. Harsin believes that Ashford has improved in that aspect every week.

"Focus on the sideline, get the call and communicate to make sure that everybody's on the same page. You must know that you're not going to be able to yell out information to the side, so you have to make sure that there is either a hand signal or whatever you have got to do to make an adjustment. You must keep everybody on the same page and then execute the play that's in front of you," Harsin said. "That's one thing I've really appreciated about Robby is I see that from him. I think his focus, the way he's handled himself, and the maturity that he's showing each and every game is getting better."

In two games as starting quarterback, Ashford has thrown for 464 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Tigers to a 1-1 record. He has also rushed for 293 yards and one touchdown. In his most recent start against LSU, he completed 19-of-38 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire

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