- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GLENDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - Two of the nation’s most prolific offenses took a while to get going in the BCS championship.

Once they did, look out!

Freshman Michael Dyer made the wildest play in a crazy closing sequence, turning a short run into a game-changing 37-yarder that helped lift top-ranked Auburn to a 22-19 victory over No. 2 Oregon on Monday night for its first national title since 1957.

“I was trying to turn to get some extra yards and keep in balance to get a first down,” Dyer said.


Dyer did much more than that. His did-that-just-happen ride highlighted a game that never quite reached its billing as an offensive showcase.

Instead, a kicker scored a 2-point conversion on an option. There was a safety, a fake punt and, at one point, Oregon led by the unseemly score of 11-9.

Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas and Auburn’s Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton, combined for three interceptions in the first quarter after having 13 between them during the regular season.

It was scoreless after the first quarter and Auburn (14-0) had just 21 total yards, including minus-13 on four carries by Newton. The teams perked up in the second quarter, combining for 27 points, then went dormant again well into the fourth.

The final 4:50 turned it into a game to remember.

Auburn led 19-11 when the savory sequence started. Casey Matthews sprinted and stripped Newton. The Oregon linebacker with the NFL lineage raced about 20 yards around the corner, dived and knocked the ball away from Newton. Ducks teammate Cliff Harris recovered at Oregon’s 45-yard line.

The Ducks worked the ball down to Auburn’s 2. Stuffed in a similar situation late in the third quarter, they scored this time on a 2-yard shovel pass from Thomas to LaMichael James. Oregon came through on the 2-point conversion when Thomas bobbled the snap, rolled right and threw left off his back foot to Jeff Maehl for a leaping grab in the back of the end zone.

The game tied 19-all, Oregon (12-1) had the momentum and the chance at its first national title.

“It looked like overtime was in the future,” Maehl said.

The Ducks just left too much time for Auburn.

Taking over at their 25 with 2:27 left, the Tigers were on their 40 when Dyer took a handoff right and appeared to be down on a 6-yard gain after landing on top of Oregon’s Eddie Pleasant.

Story Continues →