SECMD18: Auburn Tigers no stranger to big game openers

SECMD18: Auburn Tigers no stranger to big game openers

"It's going to be a great measuring a stick," said Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn. "You're talking about a top 10 team," in the Washington Huskies. (Source: WSFA 12 News) "It's going to be a great measuring a stick," said Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn. "You're talking about a top 10 team," in the Washington Huskies. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
"I've watched quite a bit of film on them already," said Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham. "Obviously they're a great team and they're going to be a top 10 team game one and it's going to be a great challenge for us." (Source: WSFA 12 News) "I've watched quite a bit of film on them already," said Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham. "Obviously they're a great team and they're going to be a top 10 team game one and it's going to be a great challenge for us." (Source: WSFA 12 News)
"I've been saying this is a playoff game right off the bat. We don't have time to make mistakes, we don't have time to start the season slow," said senior linebacker Deshaun Davis. (Source: WSFA 12 News) "I've been saying this is a playoff game right off the bat. We don't have time to make mistakes, we don't have time to start the season slow," said senior linebacker Deshaun Davis. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
ATLANTA, GA. (WSFA) -

The Auburn Tigers are no stranger to opening their season with a big name opponent as of late. Three out of the last four years the Tigers have opened with one of the top teams in the country.

"That's something at Auburn that we do pretty frequently," said senior defensive lineman Dontavious Russell.

In 2015 Auburn opened with Louisville, Clemson in 2016, and now the Tigers will open against a team that's likely to be ranked in the top 10; the Washington Huskies.

"It's going to be a great measuring a stick," said Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn. "You're talking about a top 10 team. A lot of people are picking them to be in the final four - which they were a couple of years ago - They've got their same starting quarterback [Jake Browning], their running back is phenomenal, so it'll be a good measuring stick. It's a big game there's no doubt about that and we're looking forward to playing them."

The Huskies senior quarterback is one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He's a former Manning Award finalist and led the Huskies to the College Football Playoff as a sophomore in 2016. As a freshman, Browning started 12 of the 13 games he played and threw for 2,955 yards, which ranks fifth all-time in the school's history for passing yards in a single season. Now as a senior, Browning enters with the school record for touchdowns.

Auburn has a talented quarterback of their own. Jarrett Stidham enters his second season at Auburn and will be the starter for the second straight season. He said he's watched film on the UW defense and said he's looking forward to the game.

"I've watched quite a bit of film on them already," said Stidham. "Obviously they're a great team and they're going to be a top 10 team game one and it's going to be a great challenge for us."

With the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game being played in last year's College Football Playoff National Championship venue in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, one Auburn linebacker is approaching the Tigers' opening game like it's the College Football Playoff.

"I've been saying this is a playoff game right off the bat. We don't have time to make mistakes, we don't have time to start the season slow," said senior linebacker Deshaun Davis. "Me personally, I've already dove in. I'm watching film. Washington's a really good team. We have our hands full, we know that, but we've been working hard this summer."

Auburn's offensive leader Jarrett Stidham said he doesn't see the Auburn offense starting slow again this season like they did in 2017. They will certainly be put to the test as the Huskies return a defense that ranked eighth overall in total defense and fourth in run defense a season ago.

 

Auburn and Washington meet under the lights of Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sept. 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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