Two of the premier teams in college football will be doing battle to open up their 2018 seasons. The Auburn Tigers of the SEC will head back to Atlanta, a place they know pretty well, and face the Washington Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference.
Both teams are coming off successful seasons that ended on sour notes. The Huskies were co-champions of the Pac-12 North, but didn’t wind up representing the conference in the title game. That was the Stanford Cardinal, who defeated UW earlier that year. Washington still landed in the Fiesta Bowl, but fell to Saquon Barkley and the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Auburn, meanwhile, well, you know how it went: The Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide, but then lost to the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. To make matters worse, they lost to the UCF Knights in the Peach Bowl, also in Atlanta.
So naturally, Auburn opens the 2018 season... in at Atlanta, at the big ol’ spaceship that took the place of the Georgia Dome. Will the third time be the charm for Auburn? Aubie is certainly hoping so.
This will likely be a matchup of the QB in this game. Jake Browning and Jarrett Stidham are both widely regarded as two of the best signal callers in the nation. Browning had a monster sophomore season but struggled last season as a junior. He went from throwing 43 touchdowns to just 19, a seismic drop to say the least. He still didn’t throw many INTs (5, to be specific) but that kind of TD drop is one that’s pretty noticeable.
Stidham, meanwhile, played his first full season as a QB in college in 2017. He did pretty well, completing 66.5 percent of his passes, throwing for over 3,000 yards and had 18 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He wasn’t asked to do too much, and when you have Kerryon Johnson, you’re not going to be. But Johnson is gone, and we’ll see if that means that Stidham is asked to do more.
This is the only Top 10 matchup of the weekend, so all eyes will certainly be on this game. You’ll want to tune in too. It’s probably gonna be pretty good.
HOW TO WATCH AUBURN VS. WASHINGTON
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT
TV: ABC (Check local listings)
Commentators: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay
Streaming: This game can be found on WatchESPN.