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2011 BCS National Championship Game

2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
BCS Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Oregon 0 11 0 8 19
Auburn 0 16 3 3 22
Date January 10, 2011
Season 2010
Stadium University of Phoenix Stadium
Location Glendale, Arizona
MVP Offense: RB Michael Dyer (Auburn)
Defense: DT Nick Fairley (Auburn)
Favorite Auburn by 2[1]
National anthem Air Force Cadet Chorale
Referee Bill LeMonnier (Big Ten Conference)
Attendance 78,603
Payout US$21.2 million
United States TV coverage
Network ESPN, ESPN 3D ESPN3, Xbox Live
Announcers: Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi[2]
Nielsen ratings 17.8 (27.3 million) Cable TV Record[3]
BCS National Championship Game
 < 2010  2012

The 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game was the final college football game to determine the national champion of the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season. The finale of the 2010-2011 Bowl Championship Series was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the host facility of the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on January 10, 2011 (8:30 p.m. ET).

The Auburn Tigers from the Southeastern Conference faced the Oregon Ducks of the Pacific-10 Conference for the National Championship. A 19-yard field goal by Wes Byrum, as time expired, won the game for the Tigers, with the final score 22-19.

The game was the first BCS National Championship Game not televised on network television, instead being aired on ESPN[4] and simulcasted on ESPN3, and recorded a 16.1 rating, the highest overnight rating on record for a cable television program, topping the previous high of 14.4, set by Patriots/Saints on ESPN in 2009.[5] This marked the second time that the National Championship under the current system was played in Arizona.[6] It was also the first time that the BCS National Championship was streamed to a video game console, specifically the Xbox 360.


  • Teams 1
    • Oregon Ducks 1.1
    • Auburn Tigers 1.2
  • Game summary 2
    • Scoring summary 2.1
    • Statistics 2.2
  • Aftermath 3
  • Rankings 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Finishing No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS ranking respectively, the Auburn Tigers from the Southeastern Conference faced the Oregon Ducks of the Pacific-10 Conference for the National Championship. Both teams finished the regular season undefeated. The coaches' poll had Auburn as the No. 1 team in the country, with Oregon as No. 2.

Oregon Ducks

The Ducks led the conference in scoring offense (592 points, 49.3 average), rushing offense (42 touchdowns, 303.8 yards per game), rushing defense (11 touchdowns, 117.6 yards per game), and total offense (71 touchdowns, 537.5 yards per game). The team was led by tailback LaMichael James, who tops the conference with 1,682 yards on 281 carries, 21 touchdowns and averaging 152.9 yards per game. His longest carry was for 76 yards. Jeff Maehl was Oregon's top receiver at 78.58 ypg for 12 touchdowns. Casey Matthews had averaged 6.08 tackles per game for the Ducks, followed by Spencer Paysinger (5.7), Talmadge Jackson III (5.6) and John Boyett (5.6).

Oregon was wearing the Nike new Pro Combat uniforms, their 13th uniform combination worn this season.

Auburn Tigers

The Tigers completed the season on top of the conference in scoring offense (42.7 points per game), rushing offense (287.2 yards per game) and total offense (497.7 yards per game). Auburn also led the conference in pass efficiency (174 of 261 passes, 6 interceptions, 66.7%, 29 touchdowns), third-down conversions (77 of 145, 53.1%) and first downs (316 or 24.3 per game). Quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led the conference in rushing, pass efficiency, total offense, and scoring. On the receiving end, Darvin Adams caught 13 of 48 passes for 909 yards (69.92 ypg) and 7 touchdowns. Josh Bynes, Zac Etheridge and Neiko Thorpe made 199 tackles for the Tigers during the season.

Game summary

Before the match a moment of silence was held for the victims of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, two days before the game in which US Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and 6 others, including Federal Judge John Roll, were killed.[7]

At halftime Auburn led 16-11; one of Auburn's scores was a safety where the Auburn defense tackled Oregon's LaMichael James in the Oregon end zone.[8]

In the 3rd quarter Auburn kicker Wes Byrum kicked a 28-yard field goal to give Auburn a 19-11 lead.[8] The teams traded possession several times until Oregon recovered a fumble on the Auburn 40-yard line with 5:05 minutes left. Oregon then drove down the field and scored a touchdown with 2:33 minutes remaining in the game. They added a two-point conversion to tie the score at 19-19.[9]

On the game's final possession, Auburn drove 73 yards[10] to the Oregon 1-yard line and won the game with a field goal as time expired. The drive included a run by Michael Dyer in which he appeared to be tackled after 6-7 yards, but fell on top of defender Eddie Pleasant with neither his knees nor the ball touching the ground. The Auburn sideline urged Dyer to continue after getting back up, and the Oregon defense finally tackled him after a 37-yard gain. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was upheld. Dyer then rushed for a touchdown, but a subsequent review showed that Dyer's knee went down before crossing the goal line. The touchdown was reversed and the ball placed at the Oregon 1-yard line. From there, Auburn ran the clock down to 2 seconds, and Wes Byrum kicked a game-winning kick as time expired, giving Auburn the national championship.[11]

Scoring summary

Scoring play Score
1st quarter
No scoring TIE 0–0
2nd quarter
ORE – Rob Beard 26-yard field goal, 14:13 ORE 3–0
AUB – Kodi Burns 35-yard pass from Cam Newton (Wes Byrum kick), 12:00 AUB 7–3
ORE – LaMichael James 8-yard pass from Darron Thomas (2-point conversion on Beard run), 10:58 ORE 11–7
AUB – James tackled in endzone by Mike Blanc for a safety, 3:26 ORE 11–9
AUB – Emory Blake 30-yard pass from Newton (Byrum kick), 1:47 AUB 16–11
3rd quarter
AUB – Byrum 28-yard field goal, 11:30 AUB 19–11
4th quarter
ORE – James 2-yard pass from Thomas (2-point conversion on Jeff Maehl pass from Thomas), 2:33 TIE 19–19
AUB – Byrum 19-yard field goal, 0:00 AUB 22–19


Statistics Oregon Auburn
First Downs 23 28
Total offense, plays - yards 73-449 85-519
Rushes-yards (net) 32-75 50-254
Passing yards (net) 374 265
Passes, Comp-Att-Int 28-41-2 20-35-1
Time of Possession 27:03 32:57


By winning the game, Auburn was crowned as the BCS National Champion. In addition, Auburn was ranked as the number one team by the Associated Press.[12]


  • For the second time in BCS history, three different No. 1 teams (Oklahoma, Auburn, and Oregon) were ranked in the first three standings of the year. In 1998, the first season of the BCS, UCLA debuted at No. 1, followed by Ohio State and Tennessee.
  • Three teams from non-Automatic Qualify conference schools (TCU, Boise State, Utah) were ranked in the top-five at the same time after three weeks of BCS rankings. TCU ended the season as the No. 2 team and won the 2011 Rose Bowl game. TCU was picked by a postseason poll as having won a share of the National Championship, due to their 13-0 perfect record and win over #4 ranked Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.


  • This was the first meeting between the two schools in football. Auburn had played one school from the state of Oregon (Oregon State at Birmingham in 1973) and Oregon had not previously played a team from the state of Alabama. Auburn had a 5–3 record against Pac-10 teams while Oregon was 4–4 against the SEC.[13][14]
  • As the Pac-10 and SEC never had a common bowl game tie-in during the entirety of the BCS-era, this is the only time that teams from those two conferences faced-off in a bowl game during those 16 years.
  • Two Auburn teams were undefeated in 1993 and 2004, but did not play for the national championship.
  • Seven BCS Championship game records were broken or tied, including the longest pass play when Darron Thomas passed to Jeff Maehl for 81 yards, the most team passing yards (374, Oregon), and most 2-point conversions (2). The combined passing yardage of the two teams (639 yards) were also the most in the games. Auburn's 85 total plays were a new record, exceeding the record set at the January 4, 2006 game between Texas and USC with 82 plays.
  • The game was played two days after the 2011 Tucson shooting, an attempted assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, that took the lives of several others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. A moment of silence was held in honor of those lost before the game. Tucson is in Pima County in Arizona, and the adjacent county is Maricopa County, where Glendale is located.
  • Cam Newton's performance was somewhat limited due a back injury, evident at the game's conclusion when he was lying in pain waiting on the trophy presentation.[15]


  1. ^ The Odds, Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2011
  2. ^ Herbstreit, Musburger to call title game | CollegeFootballTalk
  3. ^ Sports Media Watch: BCS: Auburn/Oregon Down, Still Sets Cable Record
  4. ^ Dufresne, Chris (June 13, 2009), "Rose Bowl game moving to ESPN in 2011", Los Angeles Times 
  5. ^ "BCS draws record cable rating",  
  6. ^ Hedding, Judy (2010), 2011 BCS Championship Game Will Be In Arizona 
  7. ^ The Associated Press (10 January 2011). "BCS game holds moment of silence before start". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ a b Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks - Box Score - January 10, 2011 - ESPN
  9. ^ "LaMichael James #21 RB". ESPN.
  10. ^ Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks - Drivechart - January 10, 2011 - ESPN
  11. ^ Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks - Recap - January 10, 2011 - ESPN
  12. ^ "Auburn wins first AP title since 1957". ESPN.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

  • Official BCS website
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