2011 BCS National Championship Game

2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
BCS Bowl Game
1234 Total
Oregon 01108 19
Auburn 01633 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)
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]

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 BCS 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.


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 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 19-yard field goal 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 24
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]




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