SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - If there was one word to characterize the typical Oregon game this season, it would be blowout.
For Auburn _ try comeback.
Both of the teams playing in BCS title game are undefeated, but they’ve taken wildly different paths to Arizona. While the No. 2 Ducks have been in just one game that was closer than double-digits, the top-ranked Tigers have had to rally eight times.
Somebody’s going to have an atypical game Monday night.
The Tigers’ defining moment came on Nov. 26.
Auburn was down 24-0, nothing was going right, and 100,000-plus fans were mostly counting them out either with gleeful celebration or stunned silence.
The Tigers rebounded from that deficit, the biggest they’ve ever overcome in a victory, to beat bitter rival Alabama 28-27 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the regular-season finale. It stands as the latest and largest comeback led by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
Auburn has turned one cliche into practically an art form this season.
“It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. I know everybody’s heard that before,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “That’s basically it. We started out horrible against Alabama and we were down 24-0 and all of a sudden ended up winning the game 28-27 because we know how to finish as a team.
“We’re all about finishing and that’s why we’re here now.”
It’s a defining character trait that surfaced in Game 3, when Auburn rallied from a 17-3 halftime deficit against Clemson. A missed 32-yard field goal in overtime preserved a 27-24 victory.
A week later, Auburn was down 20-7 against South Carolina and won by eight points after forcing four fourth-quarter turnovers. Thrillers followed against Kentucky (37-34), Arkansas (65-43, with 28 straight points in the fourth), LSU (24-17) and, of course, Alabama.
The Crimson Tide had never blown so large a lead in defeat.