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Countdown to kickoff: Hello, Auburn

8/28/2012

GeauxTigerNation writers Gary Laney and David Helman get you ready for the season with a daily breakdown throughout August of what LSU is facing in the fall, from its opponents, to its road trips to who it's recruiting. Today, David Helman previews the Tigers' September game against Auburn with Ryan Wood of the Auburn-Opelika News.

Q: Kiehl Frazier recently won the starting quarterback job from Clint Moseley. Was this the expected outcome of that competition, and what does Frazier bring to the Auburn offense?

Frazier was the expected conclusion to the race and really has been because of the momentum he carried out of the spring. The biggest reason for that is that Moseley has been battling a shoulder injury that has hampered his ability to throw up until 10 days before the game. If you have a two-man race and only one can guy make all the throws, he's probably the one that is going to get the job. Also, Frazier can make more plays running the football -- something Moseley does not possess.

Q: Auburn appears to be moving back to a more traditional offense under new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler. What do the Tigers figure to look like after the spread offense used by departed coordinator Gus Malzahn?

It's a lot of guesswork because Loeffler has only had one season as an offensive coordinator, and that season was running more his coach's offense than his own. Pro-style is a phrase that's been thrown around all offseason by players. He's going to use a big bruising fullback in the run game, and Philip Lutzenkirchen is going to be a weapon at tight end. So, lots of power and tight end sets.

Auburn beat writers are probably looking forward to the first game more than anybody in the SEC, just so we can get answers to these questions.

Q: It wasn't just that Auburn went 8-5 in 2011. The Tigers were mauled several times, with losses of 24, 35, 38 and 28 points. Does the roster have the talent to prevent those types of blowouts in 2012?

They're in transition, but they are taking steps forward. The thing about Auburn's season is, it's so wide open. The schedule is brutal -- it starts with Clemson and Mississippi State. But it's also friendly because some of those big games -- Georgia, LSU -- are at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Home games are always a valuable commodity with a young team. And with the exception of the Iron Bowl, most of Auburn's big opponents come to Auburn.

It's so hard to tell with young players -- with two new coordinators -- to tell how it's going to go. We'll probably know more two or three weeks into the season. But just like any team, they're going into the season with a lot of confidence and belief that they can take a step forward.