So it’s no big shock that each Auburn commit polled here picked the Tigers to win tonight’s BCS Championship Game. It is to be expected.
But what do they think will work best for Auburn tonight? What will be the deciding factor and what matchups do they like, specifically? Here’s a look at what the recruits think–the guys who will be asked to step up and replace the current Tigers within a couple of years. Several Auburn commitments told Saturday Down South what they think will happen in just a few hours, and they all predicted a second national title in four years.
Junior college transfer Xavier Dampeer has already signed his letter of intent, effectively making the offensive lineman already part of the roster.
“I predict the score to be 40-30 Auburn’s way. Matchup wise, I believe Auburn is bigger, stronger and faster and more physical than Florida State,” Dampeer told SDS. “Also, Auburn can pass if they wanted to. A lot of people don’t realize that Nick Marshall is just as good as Jameis Winston. People don’t think so, but you have to realize that Auburn and FSU have two completely different offenses. Another thing, FSU is a great team, don’t get me wrong, but they haven’t been battle tested like Auburn has. They haven’t been hit in the mouth like Auburn has. They haven’t had to find a way to win like Auburn has … I look for Chris Davis to be on Kelvin Benjamin all night. All in all, I look for Auburn to play an ‘our best versus your best and we’ll see who is the man’ type of playing style.
“(Tonight) is FSU’s battle test. We’re fixing to find out what they’re made of.”
Mobile (Ala.) native Deshaun Davis is about as close to Tallahassee as he is to Auburn, and he also had an offer from the Seminoles.
“I think 38-24 Auburn. I think them coming from almost nothing pushes them through to the finish line,” Davis told SDS. “They’ve been battling all year and been the underdog most of it, but they always find a way to win. Those guys just want it. I just feel like Auburn is more hungry than FSU. I think (FSU) feels like they’re just supposed to be there, so they don’t have that angry drive.”
Four-star DB Nick Ruffin, a Georgia native, likes the idea of controlling the clock and limiting Winston’s time under center. He just returned from playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game in Texas.
“I think Auburn will win this one because Auburn has better coaches, a stronger team and they are more physical at the point of attack, matchup wise,” Ruffin told SDS. “Matchup wise, I think Auburn’s offensive line will determine this game. If they can control it and eat the clock then they can keep Jameis off the field and the ball out of his hands. But if they come out flat it will be a long night. Same goes for the defensive line, they have to stand tall and fluster Jameis, and make him have to release the ball quicker than he’d like. The X-factor is the receiving corps. We all know Tre Mason is good, so it’s no secret that FSU will look to stop him, but if Nick Marshall and his receivers can complete some passes and move the ball with his arm, then that will open the game. So it really falls on whether or not Nick Marshall can find a way to get it done with him arm, not just his feet.
“The score will likely be high, like 45-38 or 54-49.”
Dontavius Russell is Auburn’s newest commitment, dropping Georgia after witnessing the Iron Bowl and then coming aboard with the Tigers right after Christmas. The four-star defensive tackle likes what he sees.
“Auburn is just used to playing good competition and that makes a big difference in a big game,” Russell told SDS. “They have one of the elite running games in college football with a very good play-action game, and they can attack from so many different places.”
Tyler Queen is a class of 2015 quarterback who is the program’s lone high school junior commitment. He echoed a lot of the sentiment of his future teammates above.
“I feel like it’ll be close but Auburn will win,” Queen told SDS. “It’ll be 35-31 AU. I feel like Auburn’s front has to get pressure on Winston and force him to make mistakes. Also they have to make sure the run game is as dominant as before and will have to make plays through the air too.”