2014 BCS National Championship Game Preview: Florida State Seminoles vs. Auburn Tigers

Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston
This match-up marks the final game of the BCS era in College Football before the NCAA implements a 4 team playoff system in 2014. This matchup of two goliaths of College football is extremely fitting for the final game of the BCS era and is sure to make for a superb National Championship game. The recent Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston will lead the 13-0 Florida State Seminoles and the recent Coach of the Year Award winner, Gus Malzahn will lead his 12-1 Auburn Tigers to Pasadena.
#1 Florida State Seminoles (13-0)
The Seminoles of Florida State are led by coach Jimbo Fisher and are looking to keep the number in their loss column at 0 and win this National Championship game. The Seminoles are coming off of a 45-7 win against the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC Championship in early December.  
Keys To Victory
The Dynamic QB Jameis Winston will have all eyes on him when he’s on the field because of his ability to take off and make a great run for a solid gain when he’s in trouble in the pocket. Florida State has a skill advantage at the Wide Receiver position with guys like Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Shaw, Nick O’Leary and Davonta Freeman all being able make plays and gain yards after the catch. The Seminoles must look to exploit the Auburn secondary and try to stretch out that defense and look for their WR’s to make big plays across the field.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Seminoles will have to try and contain the Nation’s top ranked rushing attack of the Tigers, which most of the teams they have played, couldn’t do.  The Seminoles will need their defensive linemen to stay disciplined and play the line very smart. The Seminoles will need their key leaders on defense such as Lamarcus Joyner, Christian Jones, Timmy Jernigan, and Telvin Smith to come up with big plays all over the field, especially on that line if they want to contain the Auburn Tigers.
 
 
#2 Auburn Tigers (12-1)
Coach of the Year Award winner Gus Malzahn leads the Auburn Tigers into Pasadena to do battle against the Nation’s #1 ranked team, the Seminoles of Florida State. This is Coach Malzahn’sfirst year as Auburn Head Coach and he has taken a 3-9 team from last year and turned them into a 12-1 team, that will be playing for the National Championship. Auburn has had some close games this season, where they have been able to pull off the most miraculous of wins which came against Texas A&M, Georgia and most recently, Alabama. The Tigers are coming off of a 59-42 win in the SEC Championship game against the Missouri Tigers in early December.
Keys to Victory
Coach Malzahnhas done a superb job calling plays on the sideline and has often times left opposing defenses guessing what the play will be because he is so unpredictable. The Auburn Tigers don’t have anywhere near the amount of skill at wide receiver position as the Seminoles do, so, they will need their big man and play maker, Sammie Coates to have himself a big game and try to insert himself into the offense as much as possible. The Auburn rushing attack is absolutely lethal; they rank 1st overall and average 335.7 rushing yards a game. If they can get their run game going early and create big runs up the middle, it could be a long and tough night for the Seminoles defense. The most important thing for the Tigers could very well be the impact that their defensive linemen and linebackers have on Jameis Winston. If guys like Dee Ford, Cassanova McKinzy can get pressure on Winston and make him uncomfortable in the pocket, it will help their chances of winning this game.
Prediction
I feel that based on talent and skill alone, the Florida State Seminoles should win this game because they have weapons all over the field and on both sides of the ball that can make plays and win you games. That being said, Auburn seems like a team that is destined to win this game. They have pulled off so many miraculous victories this year that you can’t help but feel and want them to win. If the Tigers want to win, they will need to run the ball with authority and pressure Winston as much as possible. If the Seminoles want to win this game they will need to expose that fairly porous Auburn defense and create big plays around field, but most importantly, they will need to shut down that incredible Auburn rushing attack.

 

BCS National Championship Game Details: Kickoff on Monday, January 6th, 2014 from the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

Author: Matthew Kassabian

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