<
>

Notes from an epic title game

Monday’s Auburn-Oregon clash was worthy of a championship game. Here are some of the most noteworthy nuggets from an epic contest:

• It's the first time in more than 70 years that two different teams from the same state are crowned national champs in consecutive seasons. The only other time it happened in the history of the AP poll (since 1936) was when TCU and Texas A&M won back-to-back titles in 1938 and 1939.

• Auburn started the season ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll and becomes the first team since Georgia Tech in 1990 to win a national championship after starting the season ranked outside the top 20.

• With Gene Chizik in just his second season as Auburn head coach, 10 of the last 11 coaches to win the BCS National Championship have done it within their first four seasons with the program.

• Cam Newton is the ninth Heisman winner to play in the national championship game in the last 11 years. Heisman winners are 3-6 in those contests.

Cam Newton and Darron Thomas
Play-Action Passing, BCS Title Game

• Auburn averaged over five yards per rush on Monday night and pounded Oregon’s defense on the ground. This success running the ball set Cam Newton up to beat Oregon with play-action fakes. Meanwhile, even though Oregon’s rushing game had its worst performance of the season, Darron Thomas still put up big numbers after a run fake.

• This was the first time this season Oregon was held under 100 yards rushing. The Ducks' previous low was 125 yards against Arizona State. It was the first time all season the Ducks failed to score a point in the third quarter.

• It was also just the second game in which Oregon was blanked in two quarters within the same game. The only other time that happened was at Cal when the Ducks did not score in the first and fourth quarters.

• Oregon converted two-point conversions on both its touchdowns and finished the season with an FBS-best six two-point conversions this season, one more than USC.

• Despite the loss, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 363 yards, two shy of the BCS title game record held by Matt Leinart in 2006 against Texas. He also threw two first-quarter interceptions. He threw two interceptions in the final seven games of the regular season.