What can Washington Football team expect at Auburn?

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images /

The Washington Football team opens at Auburn this year. For the second consecutive season, the Huskies face long travel, a different time zone, and a tough opponent on their home turf. What can they expect?

When the Washington Football team announced their season opener against Auburn, everyone sat up and took notice.  Opening the NCAA football season with a clash of powerhouse conferences: the Pac-12 versus the SEC; is a bold statement even for college football.  South Eastern Conference football teams are perennial favorites to win the national title. But in recent years, Washington head coach Chris Petersen has stirred the pot of NCAA football.  One season removed from the NCAA football playoffs, the Huskies look to return to the heated competition for the National Championship.

To be fair, so too are the Auburn Tigers. And they have the benefit of playing on their home turf to face the Huskies.  But are they special too? Well yes.   Auburn has won two national championships, the most recent happened in 2010.  In that year, the Auburn Tigers stunned the Oregon Ducks and Chip Kelly by defeating them 22-19.

But that was then, this is now. Auburn knows this is a difficult matchup. But this is the same team which faces powerhouses LSU, Georgia, and Alabama this season.  So Auburn Tiger fans have circled this game as a “must win” if the team has any hope of competing for a national championship.  In the season opener, Washington (6) faces off against Auburn (9).

And they have some cause for confidence. Despite losing four starters on the offensive line, Auburn has returning quarterback Jarrett Stidham and all his receivers, so you can look for the team to air it out and test the Washington secondary early. That could very well play to the strengths of the Washington defense, their stymying secondary.

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Let’s be honest.  Auburn has a pretty stalwart defense too.  In fact, defensive tackle Derrick Brown, linebacker Deshaun Davis and cornerback Jamel Dean made the preseason All-SEC second team. Three more defenders, defensive linemen Marlon Davidson, Dontavius Russell and defensive back Javaris Davis, made the All-SEC third team.

That means the Washington ball-control offense will have an uphill battle all day if they go with a vanilla predictable offense. Thankfully, nobody expects Washington to be predictable this season. With returning quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, the Huskies offense has all the makings of a ground and pound season. Add the fleet-footed Salvon Ahmed, and the offense impresses simply in the running game.

It should not come as a surprise to you then if this season shows the Huskies airing out some passes as well. Senior QB Browning has a final season to wow NFL scouts, so he will be pushing the ball downfield this year. With Chico McClatcher returning to health, plus the addition of new receiving talent like Terrell Bynum, Washington can quickly run up the score against anyone.

The game begins on Saturday, September 1, 2018, at 12:30 pm Pacific Time. You can expect plenty of Auburn fans in the stands for this one.  While I don’t expect an equal number of Washington Football fans, I expect plenty of purple and gold as well.

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After all, this could be “THE YEAR” for Coach Petersen to hoist a national title. It starts with this game. And one game at a time afterward.  Stock the fridge and chill the beverages, ladies and gentlemen.  Here comes football!