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BCS Championship: Auburn upsetting FSU — Insane?

FloridState defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (8) upends Floridrunning back Mike Gillislee (23) during first half an NCAA college football game

Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (8) upends Florida running back Mike Gillislee (23) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

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Updated: February 4, 2014 10:29AM



NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — If Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is right and Auburn really is “kind of like a mix of Clemson and Miami,” then please just call off Monday’s BCS title game right now. It’s going to be a massive blowout, and who wants to be bored by one of those?

The 13-0 Seminoles visited then-No. 3 Clemson in October and destroyed the Tigers 51-14. Two weeks later in Tallahassee, FSU squashed then-No. 7 Miami 41-14.

Jernigan intended no offense, of course, when he compared Auburn to those overmatched also-rans. Meanwhile, we can merely hope his analysis was off the mark.

Is 12-1 Auburn a big step up from anyone the Seminoles have played? If not, FSU likely will make it clear by winning a 14th game this season by at least 14 points. Only one team, Boston College, managed to stay within two touchdowns of the nation’s top-ranked team. The team that came next-closest was Miami, which got thoroughly dominated in a 27-point defeat.

If there’s one statistical story line everyone who’s planning to watch this game needs to know, it’s this: The Seminoles lead the nation in both scoring offense (53.0 points per game) and scoring defense (10.7).

That’s insane.

That’s unheard of.

That’s utterly unfair.

“We’re going to have to play our best to win,” Auburn center Reese Dismukes said.

One would think so.

On the other hand

The basis for Auburn’s confidence isn’t the crazy game-ending plays to beat Georgia and Alabama that the college football world continues to rave about. No, it’s something much more solid.

The Tigers lead the nation in rushing, averaging 335.7 yards per game. If that won’t make these players puff out their chests, nothing will.

“We know this,” said Tre Mason, who rushed for 304 yards in the SEC championship game against Missouri, “once we catch our rhythm, it’s kind of hard for us to stop.”

If that isn’t confident enough for you, try this, from fullback and celebrated blocking machine Jay Prosch: “Honestly, I think we’ll be able to find the weakness in their defense. … We haven’t been stopped yet.”

More on Prosch

You know how some Bulls fans liked to love Brian Scalabrine just because, well, who knows why? Prosch is a total fan favorite among Auburn fans who, like Scalabrine, never touches the ball. Only he’s a good — maybe even great — player.

He’s an incredibly well-put-together blocking back whom teammates liken to Hercules and the Hulk. He also cut his teeth in college football at Illinois, starting 12 games there over two seasons. The Tigers say Prosch is the real key to their running attack. NFL teams must appreciate that.

Is this even possible?

In case you need more evidence of how well the Seminoles have played this season, consider that they haven’t trailed in a game — not for a single tick of the clock — since September.

Insane. Unheard of. Utterly unfair.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slgreenberg



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