By Kevin Crocker
Glendale, Ariz. – Auburn freshman running back Micheal Dyer stole the show, leading the Auburn Tigers over the Oregon Ducks in the BCS National championship game.
Most people were tuning into the National Championship Game in early January expecting to see Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton or Oregon Heisman Trophy runner up LaMichael James have a big play to change the game for their team. But no one could have had predicted that Dyer would produce a run that will be on highlight reels for years to come.
With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, everybody stopped- at least for a brief second.Then Dyer, seeing his coaches urging him to run, realized that no whistle had been blown. The run–originally a seven yard gain– turned into 37 yards in an instant. Defensive back Eddie Pleasant made the hit but failed to get Dyer to touch the ground. After Dyer’s spectacular run he ran for sixteen more to set up the ball on the one yard line and the Tigers kicked a field goal as time expired to win the game 22-19.
Most of the game was full of miscues and blown third down conversions. The last five minutes however more than made up for it. With Auburn driving, the Ducks Casey Mathews, son of the 1980s NFL linebacker Clay Mathews, knocked the ball away from Newton which allowed Oregon to get right back into it.
Down by eight, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas threw a shovel pass to James for a touchdown then converted the two point conversion with a pass to Jeff Maehl and the game seemed to be headed to overtime. That’s when Dyer had his big run that led to the field goal that ended the game.
“When it comes down to a field goal at the last second, you can always point to play here, a play there, but it really doesn’t do much for you. We’re a forward-thinking operation, and we’ll learn from this thing and move forward.” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said according to ESPN.com.
Although the scoreboard didn’t reflect the score that most people were anticipating, both offenses put up good numbers. Thomas threw for 363 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, nearly 100 yards more than Newton’s 265 yards although Newton had 1 less interception. Maehl had 133 yards on 9 receptions with 81 coming on a big play early in the game, which was also the longest play from scrimmage in BCS Championship game history.
The big letdown for Oregon was James, he only rushed for 49 yards, and the team only gained us75 yards on the ground after averaging more than 300 on the season.