Soak up these Florida State defensive numbers: the unit has scored more touchdowns (eight) than it has allowed on the ground (five). Heading into the bowls, the Seminoles' passing defense leads the FBS in yards allowed (152.0), efficiency (90.9), yards per completion (9.5) and interceptions (25). Sixteen players have intercepted a pass; 17 have at least one sack. Yes, Auburn is a run-first team. Florida State allowed only 116.5 yards per game.
We may not know how Florida State will react in a close game, but we know that redshirt freshman kicker Roberto Aguayo made all 90 PATs and 19-of-20 field goals, including 8-of-9 of 40 yards or longer. Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award, given to the best kicker in the FBS. He also had 42 touchbacks out of 113 kickoffs. Think about 113 kickoffs. If nothing else, that means Aguayo's leg is durable.
You can argue about the strength of Florida State's schedule, but if it were easy to beat every team by at least 14 points, another team in the BCS era would have done it. I couldn't find one. The Seminoles have dominated every team in their path. In fact, they haven't been behind since the second quarter of the Boston College game on Sept. 28. That's nine-and-a-half games ago.
It sounds a little Zen to say it this way, but Florida State is going to win because it has better players. My colleague Todd McShay said of the top five prospects for the 2014 NFL draft in the game, four of them will be wearing garnet and gold, and that's only if Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson foregoes leaves early. And that's just NFL prospects. The talent difference extends throughout the lineup.