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Auburn beats Oregon for BCS title 47

Posted: January 11, 2011, 12:24 PM ; Updated: January 11, 2011, 12:24 PM

By Andy Staples, SI.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Wes Byrum, who has been making game-winning kicks for Auburn since 2007, had two simple thoughts Monday night as he lined up a field goal shorter than an extra point.

Just make the kick. Just put it through.

"Fortunately," Byrum said, "that was a nice short one."

No, it was a huge one.

Byrum's 19-yarder as time expired lifted Auburn to a 22-19 win against Oregon and the second national title in school history. The Tigers, picked in the preaseason near the bottom of the Top 25, ended a controversial, thrilling campaign with orange and blue confetti raining on them at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who played through an NCAA investigation that has yet to end, smiled and ran to celebrate with the Auburn fans. Nick Fairley, the defensive tackle who rocketed to stardom amid accusations of dirty play, was named the defensive MVP after making several huge plays -- including a fourth-down stop on the goal line.

A game that was supposed to be dominated by offense turned into a defensive struggle until the final two heartstopping scoring drives.

Down eight, Oregon got the ball back for one last try when linebacker Casey Matthews forced a Newton fumble. The Ducks faced fourth-and-five from their own 40, but Darron Thomas hit D.J. Davis for a 29-yard gain. Three plays later, LaMichael James scored on a two-yard shovel pass from Thomas. After catching a bad snap, Thomas ran right, threw left and hit a leaping Jeff Maehl for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 19.

But Auburn still had time. Freshman tailback Michael Dyer appeared to be tackled by Oregon rover Eddie Pleasant, but Dyer rolled over Pleasant without his knee touching the ground and kept running for a 37-yard gain."I thought he was down," offensive lineman Byron Isom said. "I stopped. He kept going."

Later, Dyer carried to the one. Newton took a knee with two seconds remaining to set up Byrum's kick.

The offenses weren't always so productive. Oregon's first sign of offensive life came in the second quarter when Thomas hit Maehl for an 81-yard gain that set up an eight-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to James. A two-point conversion gave Oregon an 11-7 lead.

Auburn then moved 68 yards in 15 plays and seemed poised to take the lead on a goal-line plunge, but the Ducks stuffed Newton on third-and-goal, and Newton short-armed a pass to a wide-open Eric Smith.

When Oregon took over on downs, Auburn's defense took over the game. An illegal motion penalty wiped out a nine-yard pass to Kenjon Barner and left Oregon backed up against its own goal line. On the next play, Auburn defensive tackle Mike Blanc dragged down James in the end zone for a safety. Auburn took the ball and took the lead less than two minutes later on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Newton to Emory Blake.

Newton capped a controversial season Monday. Reports broke on Nov. 5 that Newton's father, Cecil, used a middleman to pitch a pay-for-play scheme to coaches at Mississippi State. The NCAA investigated and found those allegations to be true, but since it was never proven that Newton knew of his father's actions, an NCAA committee ruled on Dec. 1 that Newton was eligible to play. The following Saturday, Newton led the Tigers to the SEC title with a win against South Carolina. A week later, Newton won the Heisman Trophy. Cecil Newton did not attend the ceremony.

Those who attended Monday's game saw a sloppy affair turn into a thriller in the final moments. As Byrum's toe met leather, the Ducks flew over Auburn's blockers. The ball went through the uprights, and Oregon's Pleasant and Casey Matthews sank to their knees at the five-yard line. Byrum ran toward midfield, where he was swallowed by a celebration befitting the biggest win in Auburn history.

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47 Comments

Where can those shoes that Oregon was wearing.:)

cam newton is coming to the ravens or darron thomas is coming to the ravens but i still like oregon ducks

do u guys like mangos?

take tht Oregon

Oregon is still the best

auburn stinks

Kudos to Oregon for converting that 2-point conversion- I'll admit Darron Thomas didn't have his greatest game, but Cam Newton didn't either. The reason I'm commenting is to say that I'm ticked that just because Auburn barely won the media is saying the SEC is that more awesome- The Pac-10 is way better.
Go Ducks!

I love Auburn!!!!!! Why am I alone?...

What does Oklahoma have to do with it?

Heres the answer: Oklahoma is 10 times better. Period dot.

YEAH MAn U AReN'T ALONE I LOOOVVE AUBURN GO TIGERS!!!!!!

ur not i love them 2 good luck Cam

Go Organ

cam newton didnt get his momento up until like 3mins left in the 4th quarter i rooted for the ducks because lamichael james and jordan meahel.they have a nice team and should have won

I was rooting for ducks no matter what beacause there my favorite team and the tigers but oregon should have won that game.that game was bogas.real bogas.

Yeah, that wasn't Cam's best game. But I like Auburn so...

Maybe they shold have won but they didn't. Go Tigers

I was rooting for the Ducks but they lost :( that was a crazy start with like 3 picks in the first 4 possessions. i think the ducks have a cooler mascot it's fun to say go ducks. what's with the war eagle, i thought auburn was the Tigers, their mascot was a sad looking tiger but a tiger none the less. i'm confused.

thanks for that info.

The eagle is a tradition that supposedly dates back to the first Auburn game:Auburn vs. Georgia. Supposedly there was a Civil War general who had an eagle at the game. When Auburn won, the eagle flew around the field and dropped dead. That's why they say "War Eagle". Aubie does some pretty funny stuff, in his defense. But I have to ask, what's with the push ups? Why does the duck do push ups? Is there a story behind that? Not saying it's bad, just curious.

Did you know that the state of Alabama had back-to-back National Championships and Heismans?

???????????????????????NO ITS AUBURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TigerPixie3, is your favorite college team the Ducks? (He-He-He)
Or KU? Or WV? Or Virginia Tech? Or Texas? Texas Tech?

I agree with tigerpixie3.WAR EAGLE!

WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though I'm an OU fan, I wanted Oregon to win. ☺

Oklahoma is still better! ☺

Oh well,Auburn won.

Lamicheal James should've won the heisman. Just like the Ducks should've won that bcs champ game. Auburn and Cam Newton "You stink!!!(from sports nation)"

HockeySoccer, I'm asking the same thing about Auburn

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