Auburn wins BCS championship

Auburn 22, Oregon 19

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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.

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Auburn's Cam Newton (2) fumbles the ball as Oregon's Casey Matthews ,right, defends during the second half of the BCS National Championship.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Auburn's Cam Newton (2) fumbles the ball as Oregon's Casey Matthews ,right, defends during the second half of the BCS National Championship.

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.

It was a good performance, but not spectacular - par for the course in a game that was projected as a possible 60-55 shootout by Steve Spurrier and a 74-point touchdown-fest by the oddsmakers who set the over-under.

Wearing white jerseys, green pants and DayGlo shoes and socks, the Ducks got only 49 yards rushing from James. An offense that had been held under 37 points only once all year managed just the two touchdowns. The last one came on a simple shovel pass from Thomas, who finished with 363 yards - 81 of which came on a long pass to Maehl that set up the first touchdown.

Auburn fans celebrate

AUBURN, Ala. - It was easy to tell who won the BCS title game: Toilet paper flew high and late into the night in Auburn.

Auburn fans celebrated the Tigers' 22-19 win Monday night over Oregon in the BCS championship in their traditional way by rolling trees at Toomers Corner, located at an intersection just off campus.

"It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!" thousands of fans cheered in the street.

The win gives the state of Alabama a unique claim with back-to-back BCS championships and Heisman trophies. Auburn and Cam Newton won this year, while Alabama and Mark Ingram won last year.

Auburn's only previous national championship in football was in 1957, when Dwight Eisenhower was president and cars had big tail fins.

Comments (12) Add comment
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sunshinebear4
10
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sunshinebear4 01/11/11 - 02:18 am
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WAR EAGLE!

WAR EAGLE!

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 01/11/11 - 03:19 am
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Next week's fantasy, Auburn

Next week's fantasy, Auburn vs TCU for the true National Championship.

smartie
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smartie 01/11/11 - 03:40 am
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AWESOME!!! another thug-laden

AWESOME!!! another thug-laden national championship football team from the S.E.C.

csrareader
1287
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csrareader 01/11/11 - 07:31 am
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The headline is incorrect.

The headline is incorrect. It should read:

Auburn wins BCS Popularity Contest. With the current format, there is not and never has been a football champion in the top tier of college football. It is simply a beauty contest run by the BCS committees. If this system is so great, why don't we use it in the NFL, Major League Baseball, NHL, NBA, College Basketball, etc., etc., etc. Ridiculous.

Crazy
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Crazy 01/11/11 - 08:40 am
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War Eagle!

War Eagle!

Southern_Patriot
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Southern_Patriot 01/11/11 - 08:50 am
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0
Oh well, at least it was a

Oh well, at least it was a southern school

justthefacts
22035
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justthefacts 01/11/11 - 09:31 am
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Scam was worth every penny.

Scam was worth every penny.

tuffenuf4u
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tuffenuf4u 01/11/11 - 10:27 am
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Why be so negative? It was

Why be so negative? It was not a rumaway game, both teams obviously played their heart out, so give Auburn some respect.

Nativeson1
2
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Nativeson1 01/11/11 - 10:33 am
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Smart: "AWESOME!!! another

Smart: "AWESOME!!! another thug-laden national championship football team from the S.E.C." Where are you from? Name names if you can (roll eyes)... Go SEC!

justthefacts
22035
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justthefacts 01/11/11 - 10:41 am
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Sorry tuff, they are dirty.

Sorry tuff, they are dirty. Two more dirty plays last night. Are they good? Yeah, with Scam. Without him, they are mediocre at best. And why he was allowed to play is beyond me.

justfred
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justfred 01/12/11 - 11:54 am
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I love my DAWGS! While I'm

I love my DAWGS! While I'm not an Auburn fan I take my hat off to them. They won the championship with a perfect 14/0 record under the rules that are currently in place for all college teams. It only makes you look smaller when you make senseless ugly comments. Congratulations Auburn, good job. GO DAWGS!!!

justfred
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justfred 01/12/11 - 11:56 am
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Did I mention that just a

Did I mention that just a couple of years ago my DAWGS were preseason #1 in the world???

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