The Auburn Tigers won the 2011 BCS National Championship game on Monday after coming out on top in a dramatic fourth quarter. Oregon opened the scoring in the second quarter with a field goal, but Cam Newton answered with a touchdown pass to Kodi Burns to make it a 7-3 game. Darron Thomas’ touchdown pass to LaMichael James gave Auburn the lead, but a safety by Mike Blanc and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Newton to Emory Blake gave the Tigers a 16-11 halftime lead.
The third quarter didn’t have any scoring except an Auburn field goal. In the fourth quarter, things looked bleak for Oregon with an eight-point deficit and about five minutes to play, but the Ducks forced a fumble by Newton, and on the ensuing drive, Thomas and James connected for another touchdown. Thomas’ across-the-field pass to Jeff Maehl on the two-point conversion attempt made it a tie game with two and a half minutes remaining.
Auburn managed to march downfield, however, thanks in part to a bizarre 37-yard run by Michael Dyer in which he appeared to be down, but got up and rumbled for about 20 bonus yards because his knee hadn’t actually touched the ground. Wes Byrum kicked a 19-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to give Auburn its first national championship since 1957.