BCS: Defense won't rest when Tigers, Ducks meet
Published: Monday, January 10, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 12:16 a.m.
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.
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 the Heisman-winning quarterback 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.
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