Florida State Football

BCS Championship Game 2014: Florida State's WRs Ready to Explode vs. Auburn

USA Today
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJanuary 4, 2014

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.  Florida State made the media rounds early Saturday morning, and wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw were quite popular.

No, not because Shaw participated in the event with Google Glass—although that was pretty cool.

Florida State WR Kenny Shaw
Florida State WR Kenny ShawMatthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The trio of Seminoles wide receivers are the ones being counted on to exploit Auburn's most notable weakness—its suspect pass defense.

The Tigers boast the SEC's second-worst pass defense at 259.3 yards per game, having given up the most passing plays of 30 or more yards (27) this season.

Despite the numbers, Florida State's wide receivers are impressed with what they see from Auburn's secondary on tape.

"They are where they're supposed to be," Kelvin Benjamin said. "They don't have a lot of busted coverages. They try to be physical with you at the line of scrimmage and jam. We just have to go out there and minimize our mistakes and be consistent with our catches, and I think we'll do a pretty good job of that."

Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
Florida State WR Kelvin BenjaminKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Greene also complimented the physical play of cornerbacks Chris Davis and Jonathon Mincy.

"They have good size, and they're very physical," Greene said. "They're a great secondary, and they're a great defense. They play hard."

The wide receivers certainly took a class in diplomacy.

Jan 4, 2014; Newport Beach, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) answers questions during Media Day at Newport Beach Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Let's be honest, though. If Auburn can't get pressure with four and is forced to blitz and open up passing lanes, quarterback Jameis Winston and these receivers are going to pick this defense apart.

"Having the trio is just a blessing in my life, having the receivers is a blessing in my life," Winston said. "Kelvin Benjamin is gonna catch anything, Kenny Shaw is gonna catch anything and Rashad Greene's gonna catch anything."

Florida State's Top Three WRs
PlayerRec.Yds.TDSYPC
Rashad Greene67981914.64
Kelvin Benjamin509571419.14
Kenny Shaw52929617.87
CFBStats.com

This is the unit that is going to decide the outcome of the BCS National Championship Game.

Whether Auburn's ability to rotate defensive linemen allows the back end of the defense to stay in coverage, or defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is forced to bring the heat, it's going to be up to these wide receivers to make sure that the risks Winston takes don't turn into rewards for the Tigers defense.

They've been doing it all season long, and they're going up against a secondary that's been vulnerable all season long.

Auburn's defensive line needs to help the Tigers out. If it doesn't, it's going to be a long night.

 

*Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

 

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