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Cam Newton this. Cam Newton that. Well, it came down to one man, and his name is Michael Dyer. Two huge runs in the final two minutes help set up the game-winning field goal as Auburn finished a perfect 14-0 and BCS Champions with a 22-19 victory over the Oregon Ducks.
Throughout the lengthy thirty-some day break before the national title game, almost everybody said offensive shoot-out. It must have lit a fire under both defense’s butts. Turns out, both of the teams defense were let down by their offense.
Michael Dyer had 22 att for 143 yards. Not flashy numbers compared to Newton’s 20/34 for 265 yards with 2 touchdowns and one early interception, along with 65 rushing yards on 22 att. But it was Dyer’s timing that sealed the deal for the Tigers. Under two minutes remaining, Dyer ran up the gut, had appeared to be taken down, but as the Tigers sideline screamed at him to go, he took back off down the field before being dragged down at the Duck’s 23. Two plays later he burst through the middle to the 1 yard line, which set up the game-winning field goal as time expired.
It’s only fitting that it was won by Auburn this way. 6 come-from behind wins during the season while dealing with plenty of both on and off the field distractions.
After Casey Matthews stripped Newton with 4 minutes left to play and Oregon recovering, the Ducks offense finally got a spark in them. Darren Thomas pitched to LaMichael James to finally put the ball in the endzone in the second half for the Ducks. Thomas then delivered a nice ball and wideout Jeff Maehl made the outstanding catch to get the two-point conversion to tie the game at 19 all. Then Dyer took over.
Oregon’s (12-1) offense could never get anything going. They averaged about 300 yards rushing a game this season, and were held to only 80 yards. That is a testament to the Tigers D-line. But Thomas kept them in the game with 27/40 for 363 yards with two touchdowns and two picks.
Auburn did what they had to do to win this game. Their offense didn’t put up the flashy numbers, but they controlled the ball like they needed to and kept the Duck’s offense off the field as much as possible. When the Ducks offense finally did get the ball, the Tiger’s defense came through. Nick Fairley and the d-line played unstoppable and never grew tired thanks to the time of possession battle that Auburn won.
Hats off to both teams for playing one heck of a game tonight, and congratulations to the Auburn Tigers for becoming the BCS Champions!