After the season opener against Jackson State, the Bulldgos travel to the plains to take on Auburn. Auburn is pretty much an unknown at this point. Like State, they have a completely new coaching staff. The only difference is their new head coach just came off a 5-19 run at Iowa State. Let's take a look at what Auburn has going for it this year and how the dogs should fare against them.
In addition to the new coaching staff, Auburn has a bit of a quarterback controversy going on between Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle. Add an incoming star recruit in the form of Tyrik Rollison into the mix. New offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn doesn't play the rotating QB game, so the position looks wide open going into fall practice with the winner likely getting the nod for most of the season.
If you want to know what the defense will look like, take a look at last years Minnesota Gopher D. New DC Ted Roof will try to give a boost to an Auburn D that only had 19 turnovers last year.
Injuries have been the big off-season story for the Tigers. Top tackle Lee ZIemba is nursing and bum knee, safety Mike McNeil has a broke legg, and up-and-coming QB Barrett Trotter tore his ACL. Chris Todd, last year's starting QB also has a band shoulder. Chizik's spring practice and strengthening program didn't seem to help matters either.
It seems the one bright spot on the Auburn offense will be running back Ben Tate. He was Auburn's leading rusher and, like Dixon for us, will probably be the feature of the Auburn offensive effort this year, especially considering the lack of experience at the WR position.
I expect this to be a pretty even game, but lets hope it isn't the same defensive battle it was last year. I don't think I could sit through another 3-2 contest.