2011 BCS Title Game "Pre-Review": No. 1 Auburn Tigers vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks

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2011 BCS Title Game
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I'm not sure I follow. What is this, pre-review, is it? What is a pre-review exactly?

Thanks for asking. For a better understanding of what a pre-review is, please refer to the inaugural pre-review here.

 

First Quarter

Auburn kicks the ball off to start the game.

The Ducks want to keep Auburn's defense off-balance and start with a 6-yard screen pass to D.J. Davis.

After a couple of first downs, UA's defense stuffs LaMichael James and forces OU to punt.

Auburn takes over at their 33-yard line. Cam Newton leads the Tigers down the field quite easily with a nice mix of power running and play-action passing.

After stalling on the OU 14-yard line, Auburn kicks a 31-yard field-goal.

After exchanging punts, Oregon gets the offense rolling.

With 4:32 left in the quarter, Darron Thomas connects with D.J. Davis on a 43-yard, play-action fake TD pass down the middle of the field.

End of first: Oregon 7-Auburn 3 

Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

 

Second Quarter

Auburn's offense starts to gain momentum now that the atmosphere has settled down.

Cam Newton escapes for two runs of more than 20 yards on their first drive of the quarter.

After starting from their 17 yard line, the Tigers have first and goal at the seven-yard line. Newton fakes a hand-off to Michael Dyer, rolls to his right, and finds Emory Blake in the back of the end zone, giving them a 10-7 lead with 10:09 left in the quarter.

Oregon's offense starts to feel some pressure as they are stopped for a 3 and out.

Auburn begins to gain more confidence, and Cam Newton finds Darvin Adams along the sidelines for a 56-yard TD pass. The score puts the Tigers in front 17-7.

The Ducks jump right back into the game after a 59-yard kickoff return by Josh Huff is followed by a 41-yard screen pass to LaMichael James for a touchdown.

The defenses stand their ground the rest of the half as Auburn takes a 3-point lead into the locker room.

Halftime: Auburn 17-Oregon 14 

 

Third Quarter

Auburn begins the half with a steady diet of Cam Newton. After grinding the ball down the field for 48 yards on nine plays, the Tigers are held short on a 3rd and 8 from Oregon's 21 yard line.

The Tigers settle for a FG, but not before slicing 5:29 off the clock.

Down 20-14, Oregon's offense kicks into gear and marches down the field without much resistance from Auburn's defense. The Ducks seem to be in good shape with a first down at the Tigers' 23 yard line.

The tide changes as Auburn's Nick Fairley forces Darron Thomas to attempt an errant pass, causing a fumble which the Tigers recover.

Auburn does not waste time and scores on a Cam Newton 16-yard run to cap a four-play, 67-yard drive.

Oregon ends the quarter with a 47-yard FG and trail the Tigers by 10.

End of third: Auburn 27-Oregon 17

 

Fourth Quarter

After bending but not breaking throughout most of the game, Oregon's defense turns up the heat.

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Tigers are caught off-guard by a zone-blitz, as Cam Newton rifles a pass into the waiting arms of Oregon CB Cliff Harris at the Duck's 32-yard line.

Oregon is re-energized.

The Ducks' up-tempo style, as it has all season, is taking a toll on its opponent. Darron Thomas works the ball down the field with a series of misdirection and reverse style plays.

The 68-yard drive is capped off with a 13-yard TD run up the middle by Kenjon Barner.

Cam Newton leads Auburn down the field and scores a TD on a five-yard run to give Auburn a 34-24 lead with 6:16 left in the game.

The Ducks answer with a TD drive of their own as Darron Thomas finds Jeff Maehl in the corner of the endzone.

After holding Auburn to a three and out, Oregon receives the ball at their 24-yard line down 34-31 with 2:21 left in the game.

Darron Thomas and LaMichael James perform admirably as the Ducks look to get into FG range. Thomas finds James one last time for a 10-yard pass to put Oregon at Auburn's 33-yard line with 0:03 left on the clock.

Rob Beard's kick has the distance, but sails just a foot to the left of the upright.

Final: Auburn 34-Oregon 31 

 

Summary

Cam Newton cemented his place in college football lore, as Auburn outlasts Oregon in an instant classic.

Despite allowing 31 points, Auburn's defense was the difference in the game.

Oregon's heralded offense could not maintain the blurring pace with which it had played during the season. 

 

Notable stats

Auburn QB Cam Newton: 23-33, 259 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int, 22 rushes, 135 yards, 2 TD

Oregon RB LaMichael James: 24 rushes, 109 yards, 4 receptions, 57 yards, TD

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