It’s the Grand Daddy of them all and what two better teams to play each other in it. The Tigers of Auburn against the Buckeyes from The Ohio State University will square off in the Rose Bowl to see who will advance to the National Championship game. These two teams have played each other four times with Ohio State holding the advantage of a 3-1 record head to head. The Tigers how ever won the last meeting with a lopsided beat down of The Buckeyes by thirty-six points. Sophomore corner Tom Pence said ” it’s a game I’ll never forget. It was my motivation to put in the work in the off-season and come back this year and be the best player I could be”. That sounds like a lot of motivation. Both these teams are very similar on both sides of the ball, the records being the only difference. Ohio State was the first team to go undefeated is on a eight game winning streak. Auburn needed some help to get into the playoffs but as Washington just found out in the playoffs the Tigers are a different animal all together. Do not sleep on them.
The Tigers walked into San Diego this past week as big underdogs to the Washington Huskies. The only problem was nobody told them or if they did Auburn wasn’t listening. QB Griffin Jelkic threw for 248 yards and found his favorite target of the night WR Bubba Davis eleven times for a hard earned win. That was with RB Billy Davis and WR Cross Ferry III having a quite night. Both will have to have to have big nights this time if the Tigers want to advance and play for the championship. With that said the last time these two teams played Billy Carter went off for 142 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, carving up the Buckeyes defense. That was then though and this is now. Keep Jelkic upright and interception free, Let Carter do his thing and the Tigers could replay the results of their previous meeting with Ohio State. AD Pack said after there win Monday night ” that we are playing with house money.” That sounds like a team that is relaxed and ready to go with nothing to lose. Could this mean Auburn will throw the kitchen at Ohio State? We will have to wait to see and the Sharks better be ready for anything.
Right now this defense is clicking at the right time. They have the third best run defense in the country and dare you to try to prove them wrong. Washington tried and was held to just 30 yards. LB Mark Calloway is a big reason for that. He is a hard hitter and can not only shoot the gaps but moves east to west with ease. This is a reason he is up for Defensive Player of the Year and one of the top tacklers in the country. Anchor mate, SS Ollie P. Peters has the closing speed to step up and defend the run well also, but will pick you off if you try to test his cover skills just ask Doug Ohle. Speaking of cover skills CB LaRoi Sanders had one big interception against Washington also Monday to help turn the tide in that game. LBs Jack Law, Micah Myers, and SS Rian Chambers are playing on a different level as of late and there swan technique has help to stop offenses from hitting the big play. Murder House is back and just at the right time. Trust me when I say they are not just happy to be here, they are here to bring the pain and get the win.
The Buckeyes are a team with one mission. Win the National Title and go 10-0. Their offense has been punishing as of late and putting up big numbers. The main reason for that is the duo of Fire and Ice. RB Frost Carlson is an Offensive Player of the Year candidate and leads the country in rushing with 1192 yards. The Fire to Carlsons’ Frost is none other than QB Xavier Allen-Garcia, who is also a top runners in the country, but has found his passing game as of late too. They both where on last years team that only mustard 13 points against Auburn and will be wanting to prove that this is not the same Ohio State offense. The receiving group of Speedy Johnson, Lawrence Lexington, Willow Hayes, and tight end Jacob Flores have come up clutch as of late also, and will be looking for action in this game as well. AD Russell Mania summed it up best by saying ” It’s time for our guys to step up, and there is no group I’d rather be taking into battle than this one. Nothing is getting in the way of our path to the championship. Have a feeling he knows his guys better than anyone else would.
The Sharks smell blood in the water and will be looking to feed on Auburn tonight. “At the beginning of the year, I proclaimed number one ranked defense. You didn’t believe me then do you believe me now? Whether you do or you don’t, just know We aren’t finished yet. It’s time to make you FEEL US. It’s time for us to be HEARD, RESPECTED, AND FEAR.” Safety Kevin Brackett direct response when asked about this game. CB Tom Pence and Juan Cantu have been forced out of the gym for the last week preparing for this night. linebackers Martavis Marriott, Azizi Carlene, and Scottie James have been watching the film and chomping at the bit to hit someone. This defense has taken everything personal and want to show the rest of college that their road to this game hasn’t been handed to them. It all comes down to this and they all will be working as one for a team goal, make it to the championship.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Ohio State running game versus the Auburn defense. Last time these two teams faced each other the Tigers D shut down Carlson and XGA. They both say it’s not happening this time around. Auburn is saying wait and see. ” Ohio State is a very tough and well coached team, so I know their AD is going to have them ready to play. It’s no secret what they are going to do on offense.I wouldn’t trade my defensive players in Calloway, OPP, or Sanders for anyone. If anyone has a chance to slow them down it’s those guys.” Bubba Davis WR Auburn. Something has to give in and it should be fun watching.
Both these teams are very talented and deserve to be here. They both have had different paths to this night and both feel they will win it. End of the night though Ohio State is just clicking at both sides of the ball and are the hottest team in the Nation. That will be the difference in a close slug fest.
Ohio State 28, Auburn 24