After months of anticipation, football season is back.

The Auburn Tigers are set to begin a new era with Hugh Freeze at the helm of the program. Since taking over, Freeze has completely changed the energy surrounding the team and has restored the excitement that was once synonymous with Auburn football.

Auburn's week one opponent is the UMass Minutemen, who already have a game under their belt. The Minutemen picked up a 41-30 win over the New Mexico State Aggies on the road last weekend.

UMass brings a lot to the table, and Auburn has many unanswered questions surrounding it.

Who will be Auburn's leading rusher?

The Tigers will be without star running back Jarquez Hunter in week one, however, there is not a lot of cause for concern as Auburn's running back room is one of the deepest in college football.

Sophomore Damari Alston, USF transfer Brian Battie and freshman Jeremiah Cobb will each see the field. Alston, however, will likely get the most carries and likely the most yards.

Will there be a rotation at quarterback?

While Freeze did declare Michigan State transfer Payton Thorne as Auburn's starter, he did say that Robby Ashford would be involved.

Ultimately, Thorne was brought in to do a job and will receive most first-team reps. However, Freeze did stress that Thorne needs to produce in order to hang on to the job.

Ashford's primary role to begin the year can be expected to consist of option packages.

Is the UMass front seven a good test for Auburn's rebuilt offensive line?

The Minutemen recorded three sacks and four tackles for loss last week. Auburn's offensive line will have its work cut out for it against a talented pass rush. The Minutemen, however, are not the most talented front seven on Auburn's schedule so the Tigers will get a good test without being overwhelmed in week one.

What does Thorne need to do?

The most important thing for Thorne this week will be taking care of the football. UMass forced two interceptions and a fumble last week so they can take the ball away.

If Thorne can keep the ball and consistently lead the Tigers up the field, there will not be much to worry about.

Can UMass test Auburn's defense?

UMass has a talented dual-threat quarterback in Taisun Phommachanh. He went 10-17 for 192 yards last week and picked up 96 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Minutemen run a unique offense that Auburn won't be able to overlook. If the Tigers show up though, they will be fine.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPN.

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