Defensive keys for Auburn, FSU

Examining critical areas that could decide the BCS title game

Updated: January 5, 2014, 11:33 AM ET
By Kevin Carter | ESPN Insider

Lamarcus Joyner and Dee FordUSA TODAY SportsThe Seminoles' Lamarcus Joyner and the Tigers' Dee Ford will play pivotal roles in the BCS title game.

The VIZIO BCS National Championship (Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) features two of college football's most explosive offenses. While Auburn ranks first in the nation in rushing yards per game (336), 11th in total yards per game (505) and ninth in points per game (40), Florida State ranks 14th in passing yards per game (322), fifth in total offense (529) and first in PPG (53).

With such dynamic offenses, the BCS title game likely will come down to which defense can more effectively slow down the opposing offense. Of course, that will be easier said than done, as each of these high-octane attacks presents different challenges.

Here's a look at three defensive keys for each team heading into Monday night's BCS title showdown.


To read about the defensive keys for Florida State and Auburn ahead of Monday's BCS title game, become an ESPN Insider.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• 14-year NFL defensive end; No. 6 overall pick in 1995 draft
• All-American at University of Florida