BCS National Championship Game keys

January, 10, 2011
1/10/11
10:30
AM ET
Here’s a look at three keys for Auburn in its matchup Monday night with Oregon in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game:

1. Dictate the flow of the game: The opening of this game ought to be fascinating as the two teams try to feel each other out. But right away, Auburn’s veteran offensive line needs to establish itself, and the Tigers need to establish that they can run the ball when they want to, whether it’s Cam Newton, Mike Dyer or Onterio McCalebb. There are going to be some big plays in this game on both sides. That’s a given. But this is one of those games where long drives will be at a premium for Auburn.

2. Make the Ducks earn it: The way Oregon has overwhelmed teams this season is by scoring quickly and then keeping up a pace into the second half that few teams can manage. What the Tigers have to stay away from is allowing big scoring plays, whether that’s on offense or special teams. They need to make the Ducks go the distance and not give up anything easy, which includes any defensive touchdowns.

3. Win the fourth quarter: It's been one of the things Auburn has done best all season, but the same goes for Oregon. One turnover or one key defensive stop could be the difference. Neither one of these teams is ever out of it, as both have the ability to come back from large deficits. The team that wins the fourth quarter is going to win this game.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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