Auburn Tigers Football: The Top 10 Plays Of The 2010 Season

Nathan Deal@@NateDawgAUCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2011

Auburn Tigers Football: The Top 10 Plays Of The 2010 Season

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    National champions.

    Two words that describe Auburn's unprecedented run. The Tigers went 14-0 and won the BCS National Championship Game over the Oregon Ducks, 22-19.

    There were plenty of great plays all season, but here are the top ten plays that helped Auburn win the national championship.

10. Cam To Zachery

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    Game: at Alabama

    Trailing 24-7 in the third quarter, Auburn received the second half kick-off. On the second play of the drive, Cam Newton threw deep to an open Terrell Zachery, who shook off Alabama safety Mark Barron on his way to a 70-yard touchdown.

    Auburn won, 28-27.

9. Onterio McCalebb's Return

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    Game: vs. Arkansas

    Auburn RB Onterio McCalebb was on the kick-off return team. The Tigers led the Razorbacks 30-28.The kick, instead of going to primary returner Demond Washington, went to McCalebb. He returned it 99 yards all the way to the Arkansas one-yard line. Cam Newton would go over the top three plays later for a touchdown to put Auburn up nine.

    Auburn won, 65-43.

8. Demond Washington's Return

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    Game: at Ole Miss

    Yes, another return. But this one went all the way.

    Demond Washington took the ball at the six-yard line and easily scooted 94 yards to the end zone. This extended the Tigers' lead to 31-17 over Ole Miss in the second quarter and seemed to break the Rebel (Black Bears') spirit.

    The Tigers easily won, 51-31.

7. Cam's Miracle Completion

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    Game: at Kentucky

    In the second quarter, leading 14-7, Auburn was at Kentucky's 42-yard line. Cam Newton took the snap and rolled to his right under intense pressure. While falling out of bounds, he hurled it in the air, and Auburn WR Kodi Burns made a diving catch in bounds at the nine-yard line.

    Auburn won, 37-34.

6. Nick Fairley Body-Slams Jordan Jefferson

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    Game: vs. LSU

    Facing third down in a 17-17 tie inside their own 45-yard line, Jordan Jefferson took the snap. He really wishes he hadn't. All-American DT Nick Fairley easily went through two LSU offensive linemen, grabbed Jordan Jefferson, and body-slammed him to the turf at the 32-yard line.

    Auburn won, 24-17.

5. Cam Carves Up The Bayou Bengals

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    Game: vs. LSU

    Taking the snap at the LSU 49-yard line, Cam Newton ran up the gut for what looked like no gain. But he stepped out of the mess and ran outside. He then juked an LSU defender out of his shoes, made another Bayou Bengal miss horribly, then turned on the jets and dragged LSU All-American CB Patrick Peterson into the end zone.

    Auburn won, 24-17.

4. Hail Mary

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    Game: vs. South Carolina (SEC Championship Game)

    Up 21-14 with just seven seconds left in the half, Auburn QB Cam Newton took the snap and rolled to his right. He lofted up a pass at the 44-yard line all the way to the South Carolina endzone. The ball was tipped by a Gamecock defender and caught by Auburn's best wide-out, Darvin Adams.

    The play propelled Auburn to a 56-17 blowout of the Gamecocks.

3. McElroy.... Meet Nick Fairley

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    Game: at Alabama

    There's no secret. Greg McElroy doesn't like Auburn very much. There's several reasons why, and one of them rhymes with "Bick Scarely." Up 24-7 and at the Auburn 12-yard line with just over a minute left in the first half, Alabama faced a second down and had a chance to put the death-nail in Auburn's BCS hopes. Instead, Auburn star Nick Fairley busted through the 'Bama offensive line basically untouched. He put a serious lick on Alabama QB Greg McElroy, causing the football to come out, and then Nick Fairley turned around and beat everybody else to the football.

    Auburn came back and defeated the Crimson Tide, 28-27.

2. Mike Dyer's Run

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    Game: vs. Oregon (BCS National Championship Game)

    The score was tied. Auburn 19, Oregon 19. Just over two minutes left. At their own 40-yard line, Heisman winner Cam Newton took the snap for the Tigers. He gave the ball to freshman running back Mike Dyer, who was arguably one of the most underlooked players in the land. He galloped about six yards before he was brought to the ground by Oregon's defender. Only... he wasn't down. After a second and a half of confusion, Darvin Adams and the Auburn sideline yelled at Dyer to keep running, and he ran it down to the Oregon 24-yard line.

    This play led to the game-winning field goal by Wes Byrum, and Auburn won its first national title since 1957, 22-19 over the Ducks.

1. Antoine Carter Makes Mark Ingram Fumble

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    Game: at Alabama

    21-0 Alabama. It's still only the second quarter. Mark Ingram took a short pass from McElroy and raced down the field all the way to the 19-yard line. What looked like a play that would be the end of Auburn's title hopes instead is the top play of the 2010 season for Auburn and possibly college football in general. Antoine Carter, Auburn's defensive end, didn't quit on the play, caught up to the speedy Ingram and powerfully punched the ball right out of Ingram's hands. It rolled into the end zone for a touchback and Auburn was still alive.

    Auburn would remain alive and go on to win it all. If not for this play, Auburn's national title drought would have reached its 54th year.