- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - No. 6 Auburn (0-0) vs. Louisville (0-0), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Line: Auburn by 10-1/2

Series Record: Auburn leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Auburn is trying to live up to the preseason hype as one of the favorites to win the Southeastern Conference. Louisville wants a strong start with two of its first three games against ranked teams. The Cardinals also host No. 12 Clemson on Sept. 17.



KEY MATCHUP

Louisville’s offensive line vs. Auburn’s front seven: The Cardinals’ two-deep chart features 10 possible starters, all of whom must protect the winner of the aforementioned QB battle and create running lanes against a fast Tigers’ front looking to rattle whoever’s behind center. The return of defensive end Carl Lawson from injury gives a huge boost to Auburn’s pass rush. Senior linebackers Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy aren’t certain to keep their starting jobs with the rise of Tre’ Williams, listed as a potential starter at both spots.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: QB Jeremy Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder makes his third career start after being the subject of considerable preseason hype. He’s proven himself as a passer, but this game will also provide some glimpse as to how much he’ll be used as a runner.

Louisville: QBs Reggie Bonnafon, Will Gardner and Kyle Bolin. Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino may not unveil his starter from this trio until kickoff and hints at using multiple signal callers. Bonnafon is the more mobile of the three, but Gardner was 5-2 as a starter and Bolin threw for 681 yards in the final two games.

FACTS & FIGURES

The only previous meeting came in the 1974 opener at Birmingham’s Legion Field. Auburn won 16-3. … Petrino was the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2002, and was even the target in a clandestine attempt by Auburn higher-ups to replace Tommy Tuberville during his previous stint at Louisville. He also returns to the home stadium of the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL team he coached for 13 games in 2007 before leaving to take over at Arkansas. … The Cardinals are 15-35 all-time against current SEC members. … This is the first time Louisville has opened a season with a neutral-site game. … Auburn tailback Roc Thomas will make his first start but Jovon Robinson or Peyton Barber should get significant action, too.

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