Auburn Wins National Championship
The Auburn Tigers defeated the Oregon Ducks in the BCS National Championship 22-19. Wes Byrum’s 19 yard field goal as time expired gave Auburn it’s second national title, and first since 1957. The SEC has produced the last 5 national champions. Here is a recap from espn.com and the AP.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Auburn running back Michael Dyer never heard any whistle, so he just kept running — past the tackler who thought he had him down and deep into Oregon territory.
Dyer broke stride, then took off on a once-in-a-lifetime run in the final minutes, setting up a field goal on the last play that led No. 1 Auburn over the No. 2 Ducks 22-19 in the BCS championship game Monday night.
The freshman running back upstaged Auburn’s Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton with a 37-yard run, in which he appeared down but wasn’t — his knee never hit the ground — as he rolled over Oregon defender Eddie Pleasant to put the Tigers in scoring position.
Three plays later, Dyer ran 16 yards to push the ball to the 1 and set up Wes Byrum’s 19-yard field goal with no time left. It was his sixth career game-winning field goal — the one that capped off a perfect, 14-0 season, brought the title back to Auburn for the first time since 1957 and left the Southeastern Conference on top for the fifth straight year.
“Fifty-three years, baby,” coach Gene Chizik said to the cheering crowd. “This is for you. War Eagle!”
A classic sequence to close out a wild finish — five crazy minutes of football that made up for the first 55, which were more of a bruising battle than the offensive masterpiece everyone had predicted.
The craziness began when Casey Matthews, son of the former NFL linebacker Clay, knocked the ball from Newton’s hands while he was trying to ice a 19-11 lead.
Oregon’s offense, shut down by Nick Fairley and Company for most of the night, moved 45 yards over the next 2:17 and Darron Thomas threw a shovel pass to LaMichael James for a touchdown. Thomas hit Jeff Maehl for the tying 2-point conversion with 2:33 left and the game was down to one possession.
And that possession will be remembered for one incredible play.
Dyer took the handoff from Newton and ran off right tackle for what looked like a 6- or 7-yard gain. Nothing routine about this one, though. He never heard a whistle, wasn’t sure his knee hit the ground, so he popped up and kept going. Almost everyone on the field had stopped playing, but the referee never blew the play dead. Dyer made it to the Oregon 23. An official’s review ensued and the replay showed that, indeed, his knee had never touched the turf.
“I was going out there, trying to make a play. I just kept my feet moving,” he said.
The freshman finished with 143 yards and was named Offensive Player of the Game — no small feat considering he had the Heisman Trophy winner, Newton, playing well on the same offense.
Newton threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 64 yards, most in short, punishing bites.
The over under for the matchup was 72. Needless to say, the game didn’t play out the way many prognosticators predicted it would. With plenty of speed in both uniforms, the matchup proved to be more of a slugfest than anything else. Having said that, anytime you have a national championship come down to a last second field goal, it proves to be entertaining.