Auburn brought back Gus Malzahn as head coach this offseason to try and restore the Tigers program, they open with Washington State on August 31. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2013 PAC-12 Know the Opponent: Auburn

Last season Auburn went winless in the SEC at 0-8 and 3-9 overall which lead to a coaching change. Former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn returns to the plains to try and restore glory to the Tigers program, just a couple season removed from a national title.

Malzahn inherits a team that returns 15 starters, seven on offense and eight on defense which includes 44 letter winners. He’ll have a lot of work ahead of him playing in the SEC West and having back-to-back defending national champion and Iron Bowl rival Alabama to compete with.

Junior Nick Marshall will get the first shot at quarterback who comes from the junior college ranks. Kiehl Frazier is also back after throwing for 753 yards but had two TD’s to eight interceptions. Lastly, Jonathan Wallace who saw time last year also returns and will to for the starting position.

Junior Tre Mason the team’s leading rusher with 1,038 yards and reached the end zone eight times is back. Wallace has the next highest rushing total at 200 yards but won’t be counted on in the running game one would think.

Defensively eight of the ten leading tacklers from a season ago return which can be viewed as a good or bad thing depending on how you view things. Senior strong safety Demetruce McNeal who had 90 tackles and six tackles-for-loss looks to be the defensive leader.

The Tigers open the Malzahn era hosting Washington State on August 31 at a time and TV network to be determined.

Tigers 2013 schedule: Aug. 29 v. Washington State, Sept. 7 v. Arkansas State, Sept. 14 v. Mississippi State*, Sept. 21 @LSU*, Oct. 5 v. Mississippi*, Oct. 12 v. Western Carolina, Oct. 19 @Texas A&M*, Oct. 26 v. Florida Atlantic, Nov. 2 @Arkansas*, Nov. 9 @Tennessee*, Nov. 16 v. Georgia*, Nov. 30 v. Alabama*

* = SEC Game

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Tags: Auburn Tigers Gus Malzahn Pac-12 Conference SEC Washington State Cougars

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