BCS Title Game Breakdown: Part I

When the dust settles at the end of this year’s BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, AZ next month, the folks at University of Phoenix Stadium may need new lights for the score board.  That’s because the two offenses that will take the field on January 10th both know a thing or two about scoring touchdowns.

Oregon leads the nation with just under 50 points per game, while Auburn checks in at #6 with just under 43 points per game.  The BCS Title Game will feature two players who will be in New York for this weekend’s Heisman Trophy ceremony.  Oregon running back LaMichael James is averaging over 150 yards rushing per game, which leads the nation, while Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, who is the Heisman front-runner, has added over 300 total yards per game, which is good for tenth best in the country.

In this edition of College FootBlog, we provide the first of a three-part break down of the title game and a few of things to keep an eye out for in what should be a great match up next month.

Part I:  X-Factors

Sophomore QB Darron Thomas leads the high-flying Oregon offense (google images)

Oregon:  Despite sharing the backfield with a Heisman candidate, the success of Oregon in this game will depend on the play of quarterback Darron Thomas.  The sophomore QB has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 25 TDs and has an added just under 500 yards and five TDs on the ground.  After Jeremiah Masoli was dismissed from the team last spring, there was concern that the Ducks would underachieve at the quarterback position, but all Thomas quickly put those doubts to rest and has led the most explosive offensive attack in the NCAA this season.  Look for Thomas to continue to pile up more numbers against an Auburn defense that ranks 52nd in total defense nationally.

Auburn:  It doesn’t take an analyst to figure that the Tigers will live and die with the play of Newton at QB.  As the season has gone on, Newton has risen to the challenge.  It seems that the more Newton has been in the spot light (for his performance and amid the allegations stemming from his father’s “pay to play” investigation, which includes the NCAA and the FBI), his play has only gotten better.  The bigger the stage and the more at stake, the more Newton seems to put the Tigers on his back and dominate against the best competition the country has to offer.  He will be on the biggest stage of all next month, and expect him to deliver once again against Oregon’s 25th ranked defense.

Look for Part II of  our breakdown later this week

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