AP NEWS

No. 7 Auburn hosts SWAC’s Alabama State in home opener

September 6, 2018

Alabama State (1-0) at No. 7 Auburn (1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

Line: No line.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Auburn is still looking to get its running game going after averaging 3.3 yards per carry in a win over No. 9 Washington. FCS Alabama State, which plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, travels less than an hour for the game against a Southeastern Conference team.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn’s offensive line against Alabama State’s defensive front. The Tigers get another chance to gain experience for a largely new line combination.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alabama State: RB Ezra Gray. Gray averaged 39.3 yards on three kickoff returns and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 30-yard run in overtime against rival Tuskegee. He finished with 66 yards on 11 carries and caught a pair of passes.

Auburn: RB JaTarvious Whitlow. The redshirt freshman, Kam Martin’s top backup, is trying to carve a bigger role in the Tigers’ offense. He ran for the game-winning score against Washington.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn has only played two games against SWAC teams, facing Alabama A&M in 2012 and 2016. ... The Tigers have won 12 straight games at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It’s the fourth-longest active streak in the FBS. ... Auburn LB Darrell Williams was the SEC defensive player of the week and Nick Coe was named defensive lineman of the week. ... Alabama State QB Darryl Pearson spent one season with Arkansas State before transferring.

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