No. 23 Auburn vs. Utah St., Noon Saturday (ESPN2)Line: Auburn by 23.Series Record: First meeting.WHAT’S AT STAKEDefending national champion Auburn gets some game experience for a host of young or just plain inexperienced players, including quarterback Barrett Trotter and freshman center Reese Dismukes. Utah State, 1-54 against ranked teams, would love an attention-getting upset.KEY MATCHUPAuburn QB Barrett Trotter vs. Utah St. secondary, which features three new starters. Cam Newton’s replacement could get a confidence boost in his first meaningful experience.PLAYERS TO WATCHUtah State: RB Robert Turbin. Turbin missed last season with a torn ACL after running for 1,296 yards and 13 touchdowns and now faces a defensive line with scant experience.Auburn: RBs Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb. The two tailbacks were often overshadowed by the prolific, flashy Newton last season. The solid 1-2 punch comprises one of only three FBS returning tandems that ran for 700-plus yards each last season. More important, they’re proven playmakers on an offense with few of them.FACTS & FIGURESUtah State will start junior college transfer Adam Kennedy or freshman Chuckie Keeton at quarterback. Auburn is 15-0-1 against current members of the Western Athletic Conference. … Utah State has seven players returning after missing all or part of last season with injuries, including the top rusher (Robert Turbin) and receiver (Stanley Morrison) from two years ago. … Utah State coach Gary Andersen is pulling double duty as defensive coordinator after the Aggies gave up 428.8 yards and 33.8 points a game last season.
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