The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 6, 2014

BCS Championship Preview Capsule

MONTGOMERY — No. 1 Florida State (13-0) vs. No. 2 Auburn (12-1), 7 p.m. CST (ESPN)

 

Line: Florida State by 10.

Series Record: Auburn leads 13-4-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Seminoles are looking for their third national championship and first since the 1999 season. Florida State can also become the third team in FBS history to win each of its games by at least 14 points, joining Utah in 2004 and Nebraska's 1995 national championship team. The Tigers are trying for their third national title and second in the last four seasons. They can also run the SEC's national title streak to eight.

KEY MATCHUP

Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin vs. Auburn's cornerbacks. Benjamin has a little Megatron in him. The sophomore is 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds. None of the cornerbacks can match up with him physically. The four listed on the depth chart range from 5-10 to 6-feet tall. Chris Davis is the best of the bunch.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida State: QB Jameis Winston. The Heisman Trophy-winning redshirt freshman can set an NCAA record for passing efficiency rating with another big game. He comes in with a rating of 190.05. The record is held by Russell Wilson (191.8). All-America CB Lamarcus Joyner leads the defense. He's small, 5-8 and 190, but versatile. He leads the Seminoles with five sacks.

Auburn: RB Tre Mason. A Heisman finalist, he ran for 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns, and finished with a bang. He ran for 304 yards in the Southeastern Conference championship game against Missouri.

FACTS & FIGURES

Florida State can set an NCAA record for points in the season with 28 more. Oklahoma set the record in 2008 with 716. ... Auburn is the second team since the AP college football poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989 to play three consecutive top-five teams. The Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Missouri to get here. Colorado did it in 2001, but only won the first two. ... Auburn is the first ream to reach the BCS title game after having a losing season the year before and can become the first team to start the season unranked and win a national title since 1984 BYU. ... Auburn leads the nation in rushing at 335 yards per game, is third in yards per rush at 6.46 and third in rushing touchdowns with 46. Florida State has allowed only five rushing touchdowns, fewest in the nation, and 3.14 yards per carry (sixth best nationally). ... Florida State ranks in the top three in the country in 11 statistical categories, including second in scoring (53 points per game) and first in points allowed (10.7 ppg). ... Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is in his fourth season leading the Seminoles. He is 44-10 in his first head coaching job, including 3-0 in bowls. ... Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is in his first season with the Tigers. In his one season as Arkansas State coach, he went 9-3 and won the Sun Belt championship.

 

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