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Auburn Beats Oregon in Final Minute for BCS National Title
RB Michael Dyer - Auburn
The BCS title game lived up to all expectations in one of the most thrilling championship games in recent memory. When it was all over, #1 Auburn edged out #2 Oregon, 22-19 with a last second short FG deciding the outcome.
It was one of the most memorable title games in recent memory that began with a moment of silence to remember the six victims of the weekend assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.
It was the 5th straight BCS titles for the SEC in a game that featured big plays on both sides of the ball. In the end, it was Auburn freshman running back Michael Dyer making the difference with a strong performance especially over the 2nd half of the game.
Dyer finished with 143 yards rushing and was chosen Offensive Player of the Game. In the Draft Insiders’ title game Preview yesterday, we felt Dyer would be the key performer who changed the outcome of the game despite the presence of teammate Newton and the Ducks’ James. Newton threw for 265 yards and two TDs while adding 64 yards rushing.
It was Dyer who controlled the second half with his power runner that kept the Oregon offense on the sidelines. He also made the big plays during the critical last drive. With his 37-yard run in the late 4th quarter, the powerful tailback all but sealed the fate of the tough Oregon team. Dyer stole the limelight from his teammate and Heisman-winning QB Cam Newton.
"All I knew was the whistle wasn't blowing and my coach was saying 'Go!'" Dyer said.
On the next series, Dyer ran 16 yards to put the ball to the 1 yardline that set up Wes Byrum's 19-yard field goal with no time left. Byrum delivered his sixth career game-winning field goal that capped a perfect, 14-0 season. It gave Auburn its first title since the 1957 season. 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!"
Dyer outplayed the highly publicized Oregon tailback, LaMichael James who was held to only 49 yards rushing. The Oregon much hyped offense that had been held to under 37 points only once all year, managed just two TDs by the Tigers physical defense. Nick Fairley, Auburn's junior 300 lb defensive tackle, had a dominant performance that disrupted the Ducks potent offense the entire game. Fairley played up to his elite status with three TFL that includes a sack despite special attention much of the game. He ranks among the premier blue chip prospects if he declares this week for the NFL Draft 2011.
Newton was a catalyst in helping Auburn to its 9th comeback win of this magical season. Newton has now won the national title three straight years — in 2008 as a backup to Tim Tebow at Florida, last year in junior college at Blinn Junior College (Tx) and now with the Auburn Tigers.
He may turn pro this week that would end his turbulent stay with the Tigers that includes an NCAA investigation into his failed recruitment by Mississippi St. The NCAA governing body cleared him to play in the SEC and national championship games.
The SEC improved to 7-0 in BCS title games. Four different teams from the conference have won it in this latest five-year run. Alabama, LSU and Florida twice earned national titles as SEC representatives.