2011 BCS Championship Game, Auburn Vs. Oregon: Keys For An Oregon Victory

Tonight's title game features offense vs. offense, but it is never as simple as that. For Oregon, all of the attention goes to their magnificent rushing attack featuring LaMichael JamesKenjon Barner and when quarterback Darron Thomas does run he can be deadly. The rushing attack doing well for Oregon is an obvious key and does not need much more elaboration except that if the rushing attack does well then expect Oregon to either win this game or the end result will be a close matchup.

Both teams score in bunches, so the defenses will need to step up and hold their ground tonight. Auburn's secondary is the only unit that is either not comparable to the other team or is elite. Their pass defense is 107th in the nation in yards per game and is 75th in opposing quarterback rating. This means that Darron Thomas needs to test the Auburn secondary early and often to see how they react. 

Oregon's SB Nation blog Addicted to Quack believes for Oregon to win Thomas will have to play a near perfect game:

For the Ducks to win, Darron will need to play at the level that he did against Stanford, USC, and UCLA. If he does this, I don't see the Auburn defense being able to contain the multidimensional Oregon attack. It's simply too dangerous when it's firing on all cylinders.

I agree with their sentiment that if Oregon is able to be running at full speed in the rushing game and the passing game there is very little to no chance Auburn can keep pace.

Getting to Cam Newton will be huge for the Oregon defense. We already discussed how lethal Newton is in when running the ball on third-and-short plays from the shotgun, but he has a good enough arm to make deep passes to hurt opposing defenses if they concentrate too much on him.

The Oregon defensive line will have to cause pressure and hit Newton in the backfield to limit his ability to run the ball. The Oregon defense averaged 2.58 sacks per game and 7.42 tackles for loss per game, so they have been blasting pass opposing teams offensive fronts. Auburn's offensive line is full of large men, but they hovered around the top third in sacks allowed and tackles for loss.

If Oregon can do these three items then they should have a very good chance of winning tonight, but the biggest key is getting to Cam Newton early and not allowing him time to improvise in passing situations and hitting him at or behind the line of scrimmage in running plays.

The BCS championship game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MT on ESPN at Glendale, Ariz.


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