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Mitchell - The Duck D Tried To Do Its Part

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 11, 2011


Oregon was able to stay alive thanks to the defense, but the Auburn offense was too much to overcome.

  

CFN Bowl Analysis ... BCS Champ. 

The Duck D Did Its Part


By Russ Mitchell

- Auburn Wins The National Title
- CFN Analysis - The Fizzling Oregon O
- CFN Analysis - The Auburn D On Fire
- CFN Analysis - The Better Team Won

- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - Pregame
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 1st Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 2nd Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 3rd Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 4th Quarter
 
Well, there certainly was a lot of offense – nearly 1,000 yards total. Just without the payoff punch. Everyone came to see the high-powered attacks, but the defenses stole the show, at least most of the time.

Auburn racked up 519 yards to Oregon’s none-to-shabby 449; however, what stands out at the end of the night was the bend-but-don’t-break play of both defensive units, particularly in the second half.

Everyone will speak to the great play of Auburn defense, particularly its vaunted line. And rightly so. However, lost in the loss will be the first quarter and second half performance posted by the outsized Ducks’ defense. Particularly in the second half, where the Tigers managed to pass the Oregon 40 on just two occasions – its first and final drives. And the latter required Michael Dyer’s borderline freak run with less than two minutes and the score tied at 19.

This despite outweighing the Ducks in the trenches by about 60 pounds a man.

But it didn’t stop there… Oregon’s only offensive points in the second half were largely gifted to them by Duck linebacker Casey Matthews and the defense, which forced a Cam Newton fumble at the Auburn 40 with 4:54 to play.

Absent a second quarter where it seemed the Tigers could do no wrong, the reigning Heisman winner and his offense struggled to maintain traction against the Ducks. Despite throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns, Newton was more often than not stymied on his rushing attempts, and had both an INT and the aforementioned critical late fumble. The usually pinpoint accurate passer was also beaten up and rattled into tossing several poor throws.

Even in that outstanding second quarter, when Auburn scored 16 of its 22 points, it was a safety by the Oregon offense combined with its paltry 11 plays that kept the Ducks’ D on the field for far too long.

Oregon didn’t deserve to win this game, outplayed as it was in nearly every facet by Auburn, including when it came to the coaching and special teams. But it has no reason to hang its collective defensive head after a better than expected performance against, arguably, one of the most dynamic offensive players in college football history.

The Duck D did its part. From the many stops to the late forced fumble, Oregon's D kept the game alive right up until the end. With a little help from the offense, especially in key spots, the story would be about how the Ducks held up so well. Instead, the lasting image will be the power of Dyer taking control of the game. But don't let a few key runs take away the great things the team was able to do to stay in the game until the final few minutes.

- The SEC now owes Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof recognition for two BCS National Championships. He was in charge of the Pitt defense in 2007 that upset West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl, part of a chain of events that enabled LSU to take home the title - and now he was able to keep Oregon under wraps.

- The playing field at the University of Phoenix stadium looked downright sexy, yet as a matter of fact appeared as welcoming as an icy sidewalk. I think I dated her.


- Auburn Wins The National Title
- CFN Analysis - The Fizzling Oregon O
- CFN Analysis - The Auburn D On Fire
- CFN Analysis - The Better Team Won

- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - Pregame
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 1st Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 2nd Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 3rd Quarter
- 2011 BCS Champ. SOC Notes - 4th Quarter