It is finally time for the national championship. We have been waiting since the middle of summer for this, and now its time. The matchup, Auburn vs Oregon. These two teams have nothing in common. But yet, here they stand today, both undefeated, and both looking for the most coveted trophy in all of college football. In the beginning of the season, I did think Oregon would be in the national championship, but not Auburn. If someone had told me Auburn was going to win the SEC, I would have said no. If you had told me Gene Chizik and Gus Malzhan would have one of the best of offenses in the NCAA I would have said no way. And if you had told me, Cam Newton would win the Heisman Trophy I would have laughed at you. But, they are in Glendale and are ready to go. Oregon mowed through everyone to get to Glendale, and have yet had a close game against great team. Chip Kelley has done an excellent job of coaching this dynamic Oregon offense. Here are my keys to victory for each team
Auburn: Obviously, it all starts with Cam Newton at quarterback. It is almost a given that he will give you a quality game running the ball. The key for Auburn offensively is to have quality play from your roll players. Michael Dyer needs to be able to run the ball effectively. Darwin Adams needs to get open and be a target for Cam Newton. And, the offensive line needs to do a quality job blocking this Oregon defense, especially picking up blitzes by The Ducks talented linebacking core.
Defensively, Nick Fairley needs to get a steady rush and get to Darrin Thomas quickly, because if Thomas has time he will pick apart this weak Tigers secondary. Secondly, The Tigers must make every effort possible to tighten up their secondary, if they do not play well it is obvious Oregon will win, despite what type of game Auburn’s offense plays.
Oregon: Offensively, The Ducks will run the football early and often. LaMichael James will get a lot of touches. If Oregon can establish a solid run game, they can then transition to the play-action pass. If they achieve this, Darrin Thomas and LaMichael James will find holes all over this Auburn defense.
Defensively, stay strong, especially at linebacker. The Ducks will need to swarm to the football when Cam Newton has it. This Duck defense is very strong, they are are number 12 in the country in points allowed per game. They must use the athleticism of their defense to their advantage. Look for Cliff Harris, the cornerback, and special teams monster for The Ducks, to cause problems for Cam Newton.
The sad reality will set in for Auburn tonight, that 1 player does not make up a team. Oregon will rip apart this Auburn defense, and win this game 49-31.