Washington State is making a long trip into the deep south to open up the 2013 season by visiting the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Satuday. Both teams are coming off 3-9 seasons and looking to turn things around to start the year.
Auburn will be breaking in a new head coach in Gus Malzahn, who was away from the program for one year after serving as its offensive coordinator. The Tigers figure to play fast and emphasize the run game with Malzahn in charge.
On the other side, Ellis Johnson brings his 4-2-5 defense and a history of SEC success to Auburn. With Johnson at the helm, the Tigers' defense should be improved.
The Cougars hope that another offseason with head coach Mike Leach has lead to better execution of the Air Raid offense. WSU struggled to move the ball in Leach's first year and were a far cry from his teams at Texas Tech.
These two schools have faced off just one time prior, a 40-14 win at Auburn in 2006. The Cougs jumped out to a 7-0 lead in that game, but struggled to keep up after that point. This contest figures to be hot and humid, so WSU's conditioning will be tested.
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