BCS championship game: Keys to victory


1. Can Auburn establish the run? The Tigers are the nation’s best on the ground, averaging 335.7 yards per game. But Florida State doesn’t give up a lot, holding six opponents below 100 yards rushing, including the past three.

2. How will the Seminoles respond in a tight spot? Florida State is used to having its starters on the bench in the fourth quarter, and really hasn’t been pushed all season. Auburn knows what it’s like to make plays with the game on the line.

3. Will Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston continue to play like a veteran? He won the Heisman Trophy, and appears confident heading into this game. But that could change when the moment arrives.

4. Will either team be affected by the layoff? The monthlong gap has hurt teams in prior seasons, and it’s a challenge to continue any momentum built at the end of the season. Considering Auburn’s big finish, the Tigers are more susceptible to a slow start.

5. Which team will make bigger plays on special teams? Both are capable of big plays and generally are solid all around, but the Seminoles give up 18.3 yards per punt return. Auburn’s Chris Davis averages 20.1.