Auburn Season Preview Game by Game: First Up, Arkansas State

Michael AbbottContributor IIIJune 19, 2010

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Wide receiver Kodi Burns #18 of the Auburn Tigers tosses the football after a kick return against the Northwestern Wildcats in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2010 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Auburn starts the 2010 season against Sun Belt Conference foe Arkansas St on Septemeber 4 at Jordan Hare stadium. The game looks to be a tune up for the season but Auburn can't afford to look past anyone.

The Red Wolves, formally Indians, bring in a new offense for the 2010 season. Head coach Steve Roberts brought in new offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze. Coach Freeze brings in a no-huddle spread offense for the Tigers to defend.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin (77 of 118 passing last year) was expected to get the nod, but redshirt freshman Philip Butterfield came out of the spring with the edge in the new offense.

Gone are starting running back Reggie Arnold and wide receiver Brandon Thompkins both leaders at their positions but return experience in the interior line.

The Red Wolves led the Sun Belt conference in total defense and scoring defense giving up 23.2 points and 340.5 yards per game.

Gone is defensive end Alex Carrington and his nine sacks, but most of the defense returns in tact and could provide early competition for the Tigers.

The special teams looks to be unproven with the Red Wolves losing both place kicker and punter last season to graduation. The kick return positions are also up for grabs in both punting and kickoffs. This could cost the Red Wolves in close games before the season ends.