Florida State and Auburn are your participants in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. We'll preview the game from plenty of angles, but here's one to get you started.
Note: The rushing stats in this post are against I-A competition only, and I removed sacks and sack yardage from them.
Florida State has a good rushing defense. On the season, including the ACC Championship Game, it has given up 1551 yards on 398 carries, good for a 3.90 yards per carry allowed rate. It won't matter come January.
The Auburn of late this season might be the best blocking team I've ever seen. It doesn't open holes; it opens hallways. You just don't see missed assignments or unaccounted for defenders running around and disrupting things against it. You'll watch a play where you think the defense did a pretty good job, and the carry still went for four or five yards anyway.
Consider the Tigers' last three opponents. Ignoring the Auburn game, UGA allowed 4.15 yards per carry. That's only a small bit higher than FSU's rate. AU ran for 334 yards on 55 carries, good for a 6.07 YPC rate. Ignoring the Auburn game, Alabama allowed just 3.52 yards per carry. That's noticeably better than FSU's rate. No matter: the Tigers ran for 321 yards on 49 carries, a 6.55 YPC rate. Missouri allowed 4.58 yards per carry prior to last Saturday. Auburn gashed it for 551 yards on 73 carries, an amazing 7.55 yards per carry. Yes, Auburn managed to keep up a seven and a half yards per rush clip over 73 (!) carries.
I'll put it another way. Had rushing yards allowed been distributed evenly across all games, Auburn should have accounted for 9% of Georgia's and Alabama's rushing yards and 8.3% of Missouri's. Instead, Auburn's total was 17% of Georgia's rushing yards allowed, 22.3% of Alabama's rushing yards allowed, and an amazing 26.7% of Missouri's rushing yards allowed.
Sure, FSU can stop the run against most teams. Auburn is not like most teams. For all the things that may or may not happen in this game—and given the Tigers' presence, that's a long list—expect AU to roll up plenty of rushing yards throughout.