Fourteen points. Ninety-four yards through the air. One interception.

That was the story of Auburn's passing game in the 14-10 victory over Cal.

To be fair, there were also two touchdowns which accounted for all of Auburn's points, but the bad still outweighs the good.

A large part of the problem lies within the constant rotation between Payton Thorne and Robby Ashford. It felt as though head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery were switching between the two after each play.

If Auburn continues to move between the two constantly, neither will have a chance to figure things out.

The bottom line: there is a choice to make, and it needs to be made soon.

Thorne provides a traditional pocket-passer style with two years of starting experience at Michigan State.

Ashford took over last season and did everything he could to put Auburn in the best position to succeed. That is a quality that cannot be talked about enough.

The bottom line is Thorne is a better passer. Therefore, he needs to be the guy.

As Freeze said when he first declared Thorne the starter, Ashford will always have a place in Auburn's offense. Ashford deserves that and has a lot to offer. Athleticism like his simply cannot be taught.

It was not uncommon for Thorne to be thrown onto the field for a third-and-long play on Saturday night and expected to make something happen. That is simply unfair.

Thorne deserves to have a whole set of downs, at least, to pick up the yardage Auburn needs.

This does not mean that Ashford should not have chances. That could not be further from the truth. His ability to pick up yards on the ground is second to none and has proven to be a difference-maker on multiple occasions.

But as far as the every-down quarterback goes, Thorne is the better option. When it mattered the most on Saturday, he stepped up and got it done.

Two-quarterback systems have been successful for teams in the past, but more often than not, teams that run them struggle. There is no replacement for having a dependable quarterback.

Thorne has the potential to develop into a stable option for Auburn in a position that is vital to any team's success. He deserves the opportunity to develop into that role.

Freeze will likely move one way or the other in due time, but the Samford game may be more of the same.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, and ESPN+ will carry the livestream.

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