BCS National Championship
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 6, 2014
No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn
An early look at the matchup: Initially, the draw of this game will be the offenses. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the likely Heisman winner, has dazzled all season with accuracy and poise not often seen by a freshman. The Florida State receivers are big and physical and the running game with James Wilder Jr., makes the Seminoles a tough matchup.
Auburn’s offense revolves around quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason, who anchor the nation’s leading rushing attack with 335.7 yards per game. The Tigers showed just how dominant that rushing game can be by throttling a Missouri rush defense that started the game ranked No. 2 in the SEC and finished No. 9 after allowing 545 rushing yards, including 304 to Mason.
But the story of the game will be defense. Florida State has a good one, Auburn doesn’t. The Seminoles lead the nation allowing just 10.7 points per game and are ranked third in the country allowing just 268.5 yards per game. They have stifled almost every opponent they have played and are especially good against the run, allowing 116.5 yards per game.
Auburn, on the other hand, was gashed in the SEC championship, which raised some eyebrows as to how well the Tigers could hold up against the Seminoles. The Tigers have allowed 423.5 yards per game and 24 points per game and have been especially susceptible to the pass, an area in which Florida State excels.
What we like about this game: These two teams have been playing the best football of any teams in the country down the stretch. Auburn has seemingly been charmed this season with fantastic finishes against Georgia and Alabama to put itself into a position to play for the national title. Florida State has found a gem in quarterback Winston, who hasn’t had a bad game all season. After suffering through a highly uncompetitive national championship a year ago, this should be a fun game to watch.
Something you might not have known: When Auburn won it’s 2010 national championship, it was the lowest preseason ranked team (No. 22) in the BCS era to win a national title. Since 1982, only two preseason unranked teams have gone on to win an AP/BCS national championship – 1984 BYU and 1983 Miami. Auburn didn’t start receiving votes in the AP poll until Week 4 and didn’t make its first appearance in this year’s poll until Week 8 (No. 24).
Another fun fact: Jan. 6 is Jameis Winston's birthday.
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