BOWL HISTORY: Florida State is in a bowl for the 32nd straight season, which is the longest active streak in the nation. The Seminoles are 26-14-2 in postseason bowl games, including five straight wins. Auburn is 22-13-2 all-time in bowl games, and like Florida State, the Tigers have won five straight.
SERIES HISTORY: Auburn leads, 13-4-1. The last meeting was 1990, a 20-17 Tigers victory. Before that, Florida State won three in a row from 1987-89.
NCAAF Team Report - Auburn - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Scouting the running games: Devonta Freeman, Florida State's leading rusher with 943 yards is 57 yards from becoming the first Seminole running back to hit 1,000 since Warrick Dunn's final season in 1996. The Seminoles are deep behind Freeman with Karlos Williams (705 yards) and James Wilder Jr. (542), and average 207.4 yards a game (28th in the FBS). But the advantage here goes to Auburn, which has rushed for more than 2,500 yards between RB Tre Mason (1,621 yards) and QB Nick Marshall (1,023), and will bring the nation's No. 1 rushing attack into the BCS Championship Game, averaging 317.5 yards a game.
Scouting the passing games: Jameis Winston of Florida State, the ACC's Rookie and Offensive MVP of the Year, is the nation's most efficient passer (190.1) who has 3,820 passing yards and set new ACC and school records with 38 passing touchdowns. Winston's top targets are Rashad Greene (67 catches, 981 yards), Kenny Shaw (52, 929) and Kelvin Benjamin (50, 957), all of whom make up the nation's 14th-ranked passing offense that averages 322 yards per game. Auburn is on the other end of the spectrum with the country's 108th-ranked passing offense that averages only 169 yards per game, but the Tigers have big-play WR Sammie Coates, who leads the country with 23.3 yards per catch.
Scouting the run defenses: Florida State's first-team defense, which usually was resting by halftime during most of the Seminoles' blowout wins, has only allowed one 100-yard rusher this season, Andre Williams of Boston College. The run defense, which is ranked 14th in the country at 116 yards per game, has allowed the fewest number of rushing touchdowns of any team in the nation, five. As for Auburn, the Tigers might have the country's best rushing attack, but it's not so hot at stopping the run, especially of late. Auburn, which has the FBS' 64th-ranked rush defense and gives up an average of 161 yards a game, has surrendered almost 500 yards on the ground in its last two games against Alabama and Missouri.
Scouting the pass defense: The Seminoles have arguably the best secondary in the nation and lead FBS with 25 interceptions, only 152 passing yards allowed per game and in scoring defense at 10.7 points per game. The Tigers have the 104th-ranked passing defense at 260 yards per game allowed, and have shown a propensity for giving up the big play, including a 99-yard touchdown against Alabama and two long bombs against Missouri.
Scouting the special teams: Freshman K Roberto Aguayo of Florida State is the Seminoles' biggest special teams weapon. He hasn't missed an extra point this season (90-for-90, an NCAA record) and is 19-for-20 on field goals, leading the Seminoles in scoring. He's one of three finalists for the Lou Groza award. DB Chris Davis of Auburn has a punt return and a missed field goal return for touchdowns this season. Davis got a little banged up in the SEC title game but is expected to be fine by the time Auburn and Florida State play on Jan. 6.
Intangibles: Both teams are on fire, winning a combined 22 games in a row coming into the BCS title game, but Florida State almost saw its season derailed by an outside force. Auburn handled an off-the-field storm well in its last trip to the national championship in 2010 when QB Cam Newton was being investigated for being improperly recruited. The issue was put to bed before the game, Newton was cleared and Auburn won the title, but Florida State finds itself in a similar boat after Jameis Winston was cleared of sexual assault last week, allowing him to continue his football career and chase the Heisman and BCS title. Coach Jimbo Fisher said he was glad that after the last month in Tallahassee was focused on Winston's potential legal trouble, the chaos was behind the Seminoles and the next month would be all about football and preparing for Auburn. "I think it'll be very good," Fisher said. "I think our team did a tremendous job of handling that situation while it was going on, but it will be good. There's no worries behind us and all we have to do is look forward to the future and plan and preparing for a game."
--Neither team reports any significant injuries that won't be healed by the Jan. 6 BCS national title game.
--Florida State S Tyler Hunter (neck), who was thought to be lost for the season, could return for the title game.