Countdown to Kickoff: 8 Unsung Heroes

Auburn – #35 Jay Prosch, H-Back
Auburn doesn’t use a traditional fullback in a formation sense, but Jay Prosch is a bruising 6’0″ 258 lbs lead blocker for the potent Auburn rushing attack.  Prosch often lines up in a H-back spot just off the line behind or just to the inside or outside of the offensive tackle.  Prosch has only 5 catches on the year, but has been key to the Auburn offense this season.

Florida State – #24 Terrance Smith, LB
Since moving into the starting role after the Boston College game, Terrance Smith has helped solidify the Florida State defense.  With Christian Jones in the middle to start the season the Noles struggled some against the run.  However, moving Christian Jones to the DE/OLB role and Smith into the MLB spot has made a world of difference.  Terrance Smith is the 3rd leading tackler on the team.  His job against the run will go along way in determining the success of FSU versus a potent Auburn rushing attack.

Auburn – #50 Reese Dismukes, C
Anchoring the Auburn line is Reese Dismukes.  A 3rd Team AP All-American and Rimington Award finalist for top center in the nation, Dismukes is the leader of the offensive line.  A powerful blocker, he ranks near the top in knockdown blocks, not something that a center is usually able to do.  Dismukes will have his hands full with a very good interior defensive line from Florida State.  His ability to hold the point of attack will be key for the Auburn offense.

Florida State – #3 Ronald Darby, CB
Despite being almost nonexistent in the stat sheet, Ronald Darby is one of the top players on the FSU defense.  Darby is often ignored throughout most of the game with opposing quarterbacks choosing to go away from him.  He has just 12 tackles on the season and just 5 passes defended.  His ability to blanket Auburn’s wide receivers will allow the Noles to play with one deep safety and bring eight defenders around the box to slow down the Auburn running game.

Auburn – #8 Cassanova McKinzy, WLB
Florida State possesses one of the top tight ends in the nation in John Mackey Award finalist Nick O’Leary.  Cassanova McKinzy could be matched up on O’Leary often.  He must do a good job in pass coverage or O’Leary, who has 33 catches for 557 yards, will have a field day.  McKinzy is second on the team in tackles for Auburn with 66, but at 6’3″ 246 lbs could have some trouble in pass coverage.  McKinzy does, however, have one interception on the season.

Florida State – #51 Bobby Hart, RT
One of the biggest question marks heading into the season for the Florida State offense was how would Bobby Hart play this season at right tackle.  As the only new starter for the Noles heading into 2013, Hart answered the question with excellent results.  After starting a handful of game as a true freshman in 2011, Hart saw the bench in 2012 the majority of the time.  He bounced back from that disappointing stretch to have a solid season.

Auburn – #9 Jermaine Whitehead, FS
Florida State has the ability to stretch the field on the outside.  In addition, they like to attack the deep middle with crossing routes.  The play of Jermaine Whitehead is important for Auburn’s defense to slow the passing attack of Florida State in both of these areas.  Whitehead is 3rd on the team in tackles for Auburn and has 2 interceptions on the season.

Florida State – #19 Roberto Aguyao, K
The Lou Groza Award winner, Roberto Aguyao has been excellent in his first season for the Seminoles.  He’s 19-20 on the year and has made 8-9 from 40+ yards including a long of 53 yards.  He has a very strong leg and the Seminole coaching staff would be completely comfortable with Aguayo kicking a field goal of 57 yards or longer.

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