For Oregon, they have two top tier running backs in Kenjon Barner and Heisman finalist LaMichael James. As well as a dual-threat quarter back in Darron Thomas. All three of these pose similar threats to the Auburn defense, and Ted Roof has to figure out different schemes and packages that will try to contain each of them. Its a tough job, but he was undefeated in 2010 as a defensive co-ordinator...so he can't be that bad?
I'm not going to sit here and explain the weight's of the Oregon players, because quite frankly, that subject has been beaten to death. However it is true, that Auburn has a size advantage in most positions, such as the offensive and defensive lines. The trenches are a BIG factor into who wins ball games, and whoever wins the battles in this game will almost certainly come out the champion.
For Auburn, their offense is just plain nasty (not that I'm biased or anything). They have a Heisman winner in the dual-threat quarterback in Cam Newton, as well as two underrated running backs in Onterrio McCalleb and Michael Dyer. Both give the Auburn's run game a different look and it can catch defenses off guard. We all know Cam has developed into a great passer as the season has progressed, and the passing game is becoming a strength. Cam has many top weapons to throw too such as Phillip Lutzenkirchen (Touchdown Maker), Darvin Adams, Terrell Zachery and Kodi Burns.
After stating the obvious of both teams, now I get to throw in the real question. What is the key to winning this game? That my "Orange and Blue" brethren is "defense". Which defense's will be able to come up with the necessary stops? Which one's can come up with the BIG stops?
For Auburn, if they want to limit Oregon's scoring, the entire defense must have a BIG game. The secondary will have to stay in tight coverage and the defensive line will have too maintain a constant pressure on the offensive line and Darron Thomas. This game is made for Nick Fairley. He is an elite defensive tackle and will be able to overpower Oregon's offensive line regularly, I guarantee you that. The Auburn Linebackers are key to stopping the outside run. Bynes is the inside man, but the guys on the outside like Stevens, Bates and Freeman must be quick off their feet and know what is coming. Many times in the past teams have used screens and outside runs against us and it has hurt us dearly.
Obviously, this is going to be a battle of epic proportions on monday but I expect the Tigers to walk out victorious. I think both Auburn and Oregon's offenses will start out slow, but as the game progresses more and more points will be put up on the board. Auburn's defense will get a few stops in the fourth quarter, and Cam will lead the offense down the field on a last minute drive where Wes Byrum will nail the winning field goal.
A very specific prediction, but it's what I do best! I hope this article has given you all a perspective from both sides and lets hope its Auburn who get's to hoist the crystal ball!
Remember to enjoy what we have right now, there is nothing better than to win the crystal ball but to do it undefeated as another accomplishment in itself. Soak up the glory of this team and enjoy the game wherever you are. I'll be up all night watching it on television, which is definitely an upgrade to an internet stream!
Let's hope my next post will be one of epic proportions! War Eagle!