NCAA Football News

Michigan Football: Super Early Preview of the 2014 QB Battle

Saturday didn’t mark the arrival of Super Shane.

No, it was simply the debut of a true freshman who was thrown into the fire, expected to give Michigan some sort of shot at winning the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in the absence of starter Devin Gardner.

Really, the Wolverines’ 31-14 loss to Kansas State marked the beginning of the Serviceable Shane Morris era—at least it should have. The former 247Sports 4-star pro-styler showed “something,” despite the pathetic effort put forth by the rest of his teammates.

Moving forward with Morris, along with Wilton Speight, in 2014 seems likely.

Completing 24-of-38 passes for 196 yards isn’t a trophy-worthy accomplishment, but considering the circumstances, Morris certainly deserves credit for doing that “something” while others did nothing.

Having to string together a little magic while the No. 1 watches, crutch-bound, from the sidelines isn’t an easy job—even against a 7-5 Wildcats team that opened 2013 with a loss to FCS North Dakota State.

Morris didn’t wow the masses. He showed mobility with a 40-yard run in the fourth quarter, and he probably should have connected on at least three more passes—drops by receivers were to blame for falling short of 28-for-38 for 250 yards and a touchdown.

He looked calm. He only threw one interception, and that was in the third to Dante Barnett. Michigan was already well behind.

Dare it be said that he played a helluva game for a first-time starter?

Indeed.

And that’s why a no-holds barred race for No. 1 in 2014 should be anticipated.

 

Morris Makes Most of Opportunity

If you were in the “expect the world from Shane” camp, you were disappointed Saturday night. If you were in the “show me something” camp, you were likely delighted.

Morris went 3-for-5 (44 yards) during his first drive, including 13- and 24-yard completions which were heavily aided by the YAC. But he was OK. He didn’t get mauled, and considering Gardner’s past—he was sacked 34 times, third-most in the FBS—seeing an upright Morris was enough to satisfy.

So the Wolverines lost. They were severely underprepared. According to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com, Michigan defensive end Frank Clark said the following about the lack of continuity as his team was suffocated by K-State:

I think a lot of guys lost the will to play as a family. That's one thing you can't do in football. In football, you've got to stick in there and stay together as a family.

That's something we've got to work on in the offseason.

A 63 percent completion rate and clean uniform shouldn’t have been results of a “family” implosion. Morris’ effort was one of few honest and true goes (Clark included). 

According to Baumgardner, James Ross said the defense wasn't "totally into it." That makes sense. The Wildcats went aerial in the first and never looked back. How was Morris supposed to spark a rally when his defense kept giving away points? 

Look, there is no clear star on the roster. For those who whiffed on Gardner, don't feel ashamed. Some guys simply don't live up to perceived potential. Morris has the characteristics, at the very least, of a traditional, true-blue pocket passer. 

If Michigan can't do it with him, the only other in-house option is Speight.

In an effort to make things clear, Michigan should reclassify Gardner as a wideout. Far from a potential in-the-shadows Heisman dark horse and possible Big Ten MVP, Gardner played like a quarterback who had just five starts and benefited from a tide of good fortunes late in 2012.

 

Speight's Arrival

He's another Under Armour All-American, just like his predecessor. 

But, at 6'6" and 220 pounds, he's slightly bigger than Morris. There will be compromise in this equation. Morris, arguably, has the better arm. But Speight's ball developed during his senior year at Richmond Collegiate (Va.). 

Speight is supposed to enroll early, so the spring game could be quite interesting. Russell Bellomy should be back to full health, so that makes four in the mix if Gardner's included. At the very least, three pocket passers should compete for the top job (if the roster stays as-is). 

Don't let the 3-star ranking fool you. Speight was recruited by Alabama and Auburn, two schools which have flourished with similar passers. His spiral isn't as tight as Morris, and his velocity isn't up there yet—but he's accurate, patient and very, very tall. 

Vision shouldn't be an issue, nor should his intentions. During an interview with Tim Sullivan of TheWolverine.com (subscription required to view), Speight said he's prepared to enter Ann Arbor and was quite comfortable during visits.

Michigan doesn't [host] do it as much with flash as some of the other schools, but they make it meaningful and make sure we enjoy ourselves. I think - I've known this since the day I committed, and a lot of the guys have - it basically solidified all the thoughts that we definitely made the right choice in committing to Michigan. It's a very special place and we were reminded of that this weekend

 

Possible 2014 QB Crop

Assuming everyone stays put, the following table illustrates Michigan's ball throwers. With the exception of Bellomy, the pool of contestants for starter shouldn't include a guy with an asterisk by his name. 

 Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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Alabama Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

Similar to the majority of Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama, 2013 was a year in which the Crimson Tide dominated the college football landscape.

The year began with Alabama’s 42-14 dismantling of Notre Dame in the BCS title game. It ended with the team falling just short of having an opportunity to play for its second consecutive SEC title and a chance at a third straight crystal football.

Still, there were plenty of moments that gave Tide fans reason to celebrate in 2013.

Begin Slideshow

Alabama Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

Similar to the majority of Nick Saban’s tenure at Alabama, 2013 was a year in which the Crimson Tide dominated the college football landscape.

The year began with Alabama’s 42-14 dismantling of Notre Dame in the BCS title game. It ended with the team falling just short of having an opportunity to play for its second consecutive SEC title and a chance at a third straight crystal football.

Still, there were plenty of moments that gave Tide fans reason to celebrate in 2013.

Begin Slideshow

Texas A&M Football: 4 Best Moments of 2013

The Texas A&M football team had a somewhat disappointing regular season with an 8-4 record after they began the season ranked in the Top 10. The season did produce a few tremendous moments that Aggie fans will remember for a long time. 

The 2013 season was a transition year for the Texas A&M program. The Aggies' inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference in 2012 featured a senior-laden defense that helped lead the team to an 11-2 record. 

In 2013, those seniors graduated, and the Aggies defense struggled. The 2013 team featured a lot of youth as head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have focused on stocking the roster with talent, positioning the Aggies for a bright future in the SEC.  

This is a look at the brightest moments of the Aggies' 2013 season. 

Begin Slideshow

Texas A&M Football: 4 Best Moments of 2013

The Texas A&M football team had a somewhat disappointing regular season with an 8-4 record after they began the season ranked in the Top 10. The season did produce a few tremendous moments that Aggie fans will remember for a long time. 

The 2013 season was a transition year for the Texas A&M program. The Aggies' inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference in 2012 featured a senior-laden defense that helped lead the team to an 11-2 record. 

In 2013, those seniors graduated, and the Aggies defense struggled. The 2013 team featured a lot of youth as head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have focused on stocking the roster with talent, positioning the Aggies for a bright future in the SEC.  

This is a look at the brightest moments of the Aggies' 2013 season. 

Begin Slideshow

LSU Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

The 2013 LSU Tigers produced some of the greatest plays ever seen in Tiger Stadium.

With a season that featured a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers, it shouldn't be all that shocking that this group of Tigers was exciting to watch.

While the season may not have produced the win-loss record LSU fans were hoping for, it still provided remarkable plays, memorable performances and something we've never seen before in Death Valley.

Judging off of pure amazement, athleticism and rarity, these were the best moments of the 2013 season.

Begin Slideshow

LSU Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

The 2013 LSU Tigers produced some of the greatest plays ever seen in Tiger Stadium.

With a season that featured a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers, it shouldn't be all that shocking that this group of Tigers was exciting to watch.

While the season may not have produced the win-loss record LSU fans were hoping for, it still provided remarkable plays, memorable performances and something we've never seen before in Death Valley.

Judging off of pure amazement, athleticism and rarity, these were the best moments of the 2013 season.

Begin Slideshow

Michigan Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

After three painful losses culminating in Saturday's dreadful performance against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, recounting the Michigan Wolverines' top moments from 2013 seems untimely. It was a tough year marked by poor line play and the inability to consistently run the football, both characteristics that Michigan fans are hardly accustomed to seeing. 

But if you're able to peel back the sting of another disappointing season, there are plenty of positive moments to reminisce about. How about the monster year that Jeremy Gallon had? What about the dramatic home victory over Notre Dame that catapulted the Wolverines to 11th in the country? 

In the spirit of the New Year, which brings fresh optimism and renewed hope, let's relive some of the best moments of Michigan's 2013 season. 

 

Begin Slideshow

Michigan Football: 5 Best Moments of 2013

After three painful losses culminating in Saturday's dreadful performance against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, recounting the Michigan Wolverines' top moments from 2013 seems untimely. It was a tough year marked by poor line play and the inability to consistently run the football, both characteristics that Michigan fans are hardly accustomed to seeing. 

But if you're able to peel back the sting of another disappointing season, there are plenty of positive moments to reminisce about. How about the monster year that Jeremy Gallon had? What about the dramatic home victory over Notre Dame that catapulted the Wolverines to 11th in the country? 

In the spirit of the New Year, which brings fresh optimism and renewed hope, let's relive some of the best moments of Michigan's 2013 season. 

 

Begin Slideshow

Oregon and Texas Battle in Dance-Off at Alamo Bowl Talent Show

Before college football teams meet on the field in bowl games, they are usually involved in some cool activities.

Just days before this year's Alamo Bowl, the Oregon Ducks and Texas Longhorns showcased their talents in an awesome dance-off during a talent show.

Who won the battle? That's for you to decide.

Hat tip to College Spun's Tyler Moorehead for the find.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon and Texas Battle in Dance-off at Alamo Bowl Talent Show

Before college football teams meet on the field in bowl games, they are usually involved in some cool activities. The Oregon Ducks and Texas Longhorns showcased their talents in a different way, and it was awesome.

Just days before the Valero Alamo Bowl, the two teams squared off in a dance-off in a talent show.

Who won the battle?

Hat tip to College Spun's Tyler Moorehead for the find.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Football: Derrick Henry Will Give Fans Glimpse into Future in Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS—At first glance, Derrick Henry doesn’t look like a running back.

His 6’3”, 238-pound frame makes him look more like a linebacker or a tight end than someone who should consistently run with the ball in his hand.

“He’s basically my height, so I was like, ‘God, dog,’ because I’m used to these short running backs,” senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said of his first time seeing Henry. “It was like, ‘Are you a receiver?’ Gonna take my position? ...

“Derrick Henry, he’s going to be a great running back for this program.”

While Henry has largely played long after games are out of hand this season, he could get to show his skills in more meaningful situations on Thursday in the Sugar Bowl.

Henry was one of the most highly touted prospects of Alabama’s 2013 signing class. 247Sports rated him the No. 12 overall player and top athlete in the country. At Yulee high school, in Yulee, Fla., he set national records for most rushing yards in a career (12,124) and most in a single game (510), according to his Alabama bio.

So it was easy to see why fans were so eager to witness the player they thought could be the next great Alabama running back.

Henry has been a regular on special teams but has carried the ball sparingly this year. He has carried the ball 28 times for 282 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty.

The highlight so far was an 80-yard touchdown run against Arkansas that capped the scoring in a 52-0 blowout.

Coaches have noticed Henry’s improvements over the season, and he could be a part of the regular rotation for Alabama’s running backs against Oklahoma. Henry has worked behind T.J. Yeldon and ahead of Kenyan Drake during bowl practices, according to AL.com’s Andrew Gribble.

“As with any young player, I think you teach them things, they get the base principles, and then they kind of go and they go and they go and you wait for them to make the next step,” Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said. “And I really believe over the last month, (Henry) has started to make that next step in his development.”

The first part of Alabama’s bowl practices were more “camp-like,” according to head coach Nick Saban. It lets the players get back to fundamentals and can be especially beneficial to young players caught up in the week-to-week scheming, rather than improving technique.

Henry has taken advantage of the time and finds himself in a position to succeed.

“During the beginning of the season, he wasn’t really sure what he was doing,” Yeldon said of Henry. “But since we had the break, he’s had a great understanding, just picking up the scheme with what we’re doing.”

Henry is next in line to be the premier Alabama running back. On Thursday, he will be able to get a head start.

“I think he’s going to become a great running back for this program,” Norwood said. “He’s kind of matured from where he started, he knows the offense better. He’s just a physical guy, big physical guy. He’s going to pound the ball inside, that’s what he does.”

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Alabama Football: Derrick Henry Will Give Fans Glimpse into Future in Sugar Bowl

NEW ORLEANS—At first glance, Derrick Henry doesn’t look like a running back.

His 6’3”, 238-pound frame makes him look more like a linebacker or a tight end than someone who should consistently run with the ball in his hand.

“He’s basically my height, so I was like, ‘God, dog,’ because I’m used to these short running backs,” senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood said of his first time seeing Henry. “It was like, ‘Are you a receiver?’ Gonna take my position? ...

“Derrick Henry, he’s going to be a great running back for this program.”

While Henry has largely played long after games are out of hand this season, he could get to show his skills in more meaningful situations on Thursday in the Sugar Bowl.

Henry was one of the most highly touted prospects of Alabama’s 2013 signing class. 247Sports rated him the No. 12 overall player and top athlete in the country. At Yulee high school, in Yulee, Fla., he set national records for most rushing yards in a career (12,124) and most in a single game (510), according to his Alabama bio.

So it was easy to see why fans were so eager to witness the player they thought could be the next great Alabama running back.

Henry has been a regular on special teams but has carried the ball sparingly this year. He has carried the ball 28 times for 282 yards and two touchdowns in mop-up duty.

The highlight so far was an 80-yard touchdown run against Arkansas that capped the scoring in a 52-0 blowout.

Coaches have noticed Henry’s improvements over the season, and he could be a part of the regular rotation for Alabama’s running backs against Oklahoma. Henry has worked behind T.J. Yeldon and ahead of Kenyan Drake during bowl practices, according to AL.com’s Andrew Gribble.

“As with any young player, I think you teach them things, they get the base principles, and then they kind of go and they go and they go and you wait for them to make the next step,” Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said. “And I really believe over the last month, (Henry) has started to make that next step in his development.”

The first part of Alabama’s bowl practices were more “camp-like,” according to head coach Nick Saban. It lets the players get back to fundamentals and can be especially beneficial to young players caught up in the week-to-week scheming, rather than improving technique.

Henry has taken advantage of the time and finds himself in a position to succeed.

“During the beginning of the season, he wasn’t really sure what he was doing,” Yeldon said of Henry. “But since we had the break, he’s had a great understanding, just picking up the scheme with what we’re doing.”

Henry is next in line to be the premier Alabama running back. On Thursday, he will be able to get a head start.

“I think he’s going to become a great running back for this program,” Norwood said. “He’s kind of matured from where he started, he knows the offense better. He’s just a physical guy, big physical guy. He’s going to pound the ball inside, that’s what he does.”

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder Runs for Life to Get Away from Gatorade Shower

The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 31-14, in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 28.

The Kansas State players felt it was fitting to honor head coach Bill Snyder with a Gatorade shower. He made a courageous effort to escape the chilly fate, but it was ultimately all in vain.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder Runs for Life to Get Away from Gatorade Shower

The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 31-14, in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 28.

The Kansas State players felt it was fitting to honor head coach Bill Snyder with a Gatorade shower. He made a courageous effort to escape the chilly fate, but it was ultimately all in vain.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

USC Football: Trojans' 6 Best Moments of 2013

With a tumultuous 2013 season for the USC Trojans football team wrapped up, it is time to look back on what was an adventurous campaign for the men of Troy.

Coaching changes, injuries and intrigue of all forms indelibly stamped their mark on this year's Trojans. When all was said and done, 2013 was one of the most memorable of all time for the Cardinal and Gold, though not always for positive reasons.

Now, with the season in the rear-view mirror, fans of the program can ponder the myriad of events that made this year both satisfying and difficult all at once.

This slideshow will take a look back at the season just completed and identify some golden moments for USC as it meandered through one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory.

So without further delay, here are some of the best moments of USC's 2013 season.

Begin Slideshow

USC Football: Trojans' 6 Best Moments of 2013

With a tumultuous 2013 season for the USC Trojans football team wrapped up, it is time to look back on what was an adventurous campaign for the men of Troy.

Coaching changes, injuries and intrigue of all forms indelibly stamped their mark on this year's Trojans. When all was said and done, 2013 was one of the most memorable of all time for the Cardinal and Gold, though not always for positive reasons.

Now, with the season in the rear-view mirror, fans of the program can ponder the myriad of events that made this year both satisfying and difficult all at once.

This slideshow will take a look back at the season just completed and identify some golden moments for USC as it meandered through one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory.

So without further delay, here are some of the best moments of USC's 2013 season.

Begin Slideshow

Notre Dame Football: Why Everett Golson Will Have a Big Year in 2014

Senior quarterback Tommy Rees led Notre Dame over Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl 29-16 to close out the 2013 season. Now, let's take a look at what Notre Dame's offense will look like in 2014. 

Quarterback Everett Golson will return to the team after a year away and is expected to regain the starting spot. He will have a lot of new weapons on offense in 2014. Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and tight end Troy Niklas both had breakout seasons and give Golson more options than he had in 2012. 

Watch Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Notre Dame's offense in 2014. 

 

Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Notre Dame Football: Why Everett Golson Will Have a Big Year in 2014

Senior quarterback Tommy Rees led Notre Dame over Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl 29-16 to close out the 2013 season. Now, let's take a look at what Notre Dame's offense will look like in 2014. 

Quarterback Everett Golson will return to the team after a year away and is expected to regain the starting spot. He will have a lot of new weapons on offense in 2014. Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels and tight end Troy Niklas both had breakout seasons and give Golson more options than he had in 2012. 

Watch Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer break down Notre Dame's offense in 2014. 

 

Highlights courtesy of XOS Digital.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

BCS Bowl Games 2013-14: Keys to Victory for Every Team

The final season of the BCS brings about some great matchups in the biggest bowl games of the year. Each team has clinched a well-deserved berth in these contests and look to finish off their seasons with a flourish.

For each of these squads, the outcome of the game will hinge on producing at the highest level. After all, any of these five BCS games could go either way.

Highlighting their own strengths and exposing their opponents' weaknesses will be crucial for each team involved. Also, limiting the success of their opponents' strengths is necessary to win on such a big stage.

These are the keys to victory.

Let's take a team-by-team look to determine the factors that will be of the utmost importance to each of these squads in January.

 

Rose Bowl

Stanford: Maintain a Balanced Offense

Stanford's weapon of choice has been running back Tyler Gaffney throughout the 2013 season. Gaffney has been the workhorse this year, accumulating 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns on 306 carries—good enough for an average of 5.3 yards per carry.

However, against such a talented Michigan State defense, maintaining an offensive balance is crucial.

Quarterback Kevin Hogan has been able to shine at times this season. He has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 2,487 yards, 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He must remain careful with the football against the Spartans' ball-hawking secondary.

There may be little room to maneuver for Stanford if it attempts to keep up a ground-and-pound style of offense. Hogan must step up in a big way during the Rose Bowl. After all, keeping a balance between the run and pass is the only way to get past such a stout defense.

 

Michigan State: Ride the Defense

Although the Michigan State offense has been solid this season, the defense is the reason for the team's continued success. If the Spartans are to emerge victorious in January against the Cardinal, the defense will be the reason once again.

Michigan State currently owns the nation's fourth-ranked defense, according to NCAA.com. Not only are they the top-ranked unit against the run, but they are stellar against the pass as well, with Darqueze Dennard featured as one of the nation's top corners.

The Spartan defense is only allowing an average of 12.7 points per game. If they can keep Stanford anywhere along those lines, the offense will be able to do enough to secure the victory.

 

Fiesta Bowl

UCF: Stick with Blake Bortles' Hot Hand

Quarterback Blake Bortles has put together a fantastic late-season run. The success of the Knights is directly related to the success of their quarterback. Bortles has been extremely efficient over the 2013 season, completing 68.1 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

His stellar play has NFL scouts taking notice of him in a big way.

Baylor does have a very good pass defense. After all, they are ranked 23rd in the nation, according to NCAA.com. The Bears are allowing an average of just 207.8 passing yards per game. However, they have given up 20 passing touchdowns this season—Bortles can certainly take advantage of that aspect.

UCF's best chance to come away victorious against a good Baylor team is to keep the ball in the air and allow Bortles to continue his hot streak.

 

Baylor: Win the Turnover Battle

The Baylor offense has done a great job protecting the football this season. Quarterback Bryce Petty has only thrown two interceptions against 30 touchdown passes on the year. Due to Baylor's ability to take care of the football, it is currently ranked 13th in the league with a plus-11 turnover margin.

UCF has a high-octane offense, and this game certainly looks like it could be headed in the direction of a shootout. Creating a turnover at the right time could be all that Baylor will need to come out ahead in this contest.

Winning the turnover battle will win the Fiesta Bowl.

 

Sugar Bowl

Oklahoma: Dominate Time of Possession

Against such a deep, complete team like Alabama, this is easier said than done. However, Oklahoma has been one of the nation's best teams in terms of maintaining possession of the football. According to NCAA.com, the Sooners are ranked 15th in the nation while averaging 32 minutes of possession per game on the season.

Alabama has one of the nation's top defenses, and its offense is prolific as well. Keeping the offense off the field will be key for Oklahoma's success.

With its offense on the field, Oklahoma will be able to slowly wear down a stout Alabama defense and keep itself in the game with a chance to pull away in the end.

 

Alabama: Feature T.J. Yeldon

It seems strange to suggest the ball be in anyone's hands other than quarterback AJ McCarron; however, that is exactly what Alabama needs to do against Oklahoma.

Running back T.J. Yeldon should be featured heavily in this contest due to a very solid Oklahoma pass defense. In what is expected to be a defensive struggle, keeping the ball on the ground is a far better option for the Crimson Tide.

Oklahoma is allowing an average of 138.3 yards per game this season, which gives Yeldon a big chance to shine. If Yeldon is able to establish the running game, it will open things up over the top of the defense for McCarron.

Yeldon will dictate how Alabama's offense is able to maneuver during the Sugar Bowl.

 

Orange Bowl

Clemson: Pass, Pass and Pass Again

This is a pretty easy one for the Tigers. They have an NFL-caliber quarterback in Tajh Boyd and are facing a terrible Ohio State secondary. Boyd has thrown for 3,473 yards, 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions so far this season. He will absolutely be able to tee off against an Ohio State secondary that is allowing an average of 259.5 passing yards per game.

Yes, of course Clemson should not remain one-dimensional throughout the game. After all, they do have a very talented running back in Roderick McDowell.

However, with Boyd at the helm, an explosive Sammy Watkins on the outside and a terrible secondary across from him, passing early and often seems like the way to go here.

 

Ohio State: Run, Run and Run Some More

Talk about two completely opposing styles of offense. Ohio State has one of the most prolific rushing offenses in the nation, as dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde are a formidable duo.

Hyde and Miller have rushed for 1,408 and 1,033 yards, respectively, in 2013 while combining for 24 rushing touchdowns.

Clemson is currently ranked 51st in the nation against the run, according to NCAA.com. The Tigers are allowing an average of 152.6 yards per game on the ground this year. Braxton, Hyde and Co. can continue to remain successful running the football against the Tigers, which, in turn, will keep Boyd and the Clemson offense off the field.

 

BCS National Championship Game

Florida State: Unleash the Heisman Winner

Quarterback Jameis Winston has been incredible this season. After all, he did win the Heisman Trophy after passing for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over the regular season. Winston has been dynamic and efficient and will continue to propel this team going forward.

Auburn doesn't exactly have a pass defense to write home about. They are ranked 104th in the nation and are giving up an average of 260.2 yards per game—yes, that's even more than Ohio State.

Winston's arm should be featured heavily during this game, as he will surely find plenty of space to hit his targets and put up some gaudy numbers to end a fantastic season.

 

Auburn: Triple Option for the Win

Yes, Florida State has a pretty good run defense. They are ranked 14th in the nation and are only allowing an average of 116.5 yards per game to opposing teams. However, they have yet to face an attack nearly as vicious as Auburn's triple option.

Quarterback Nick Marshall and running back Tre Mason have been explosive in 2013. Mason and Marshall have rushed for 1,621 and 1,023 yards, respectively. They have also combined for 33 rushing touchdowns.

That would be difficult to stop in its own right; however, Auburn adds another wrinkle here: wide receiver Sammie Coates.

The third option in this scheme, Coates remains available for a pitch-style pass to the outside should the running lanes for Marshall and Mason be unavailable. This is not something that is easily prepared for. After all, Florida State does have a very aggressive defense and can be beaten when Coates becomes a factor.

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