SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
No. 1 finally meets No. 2
Line: Auburn by 2 1/2 .
Series Record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
For Auburn, its first national championship since 1957. For Oregon, its first national championship — period. The Tigers could also make it five straight national championships — between four teams — for the SEC. Oregon could become the first Pac-10 team to win a BCS title other than USC.
AUBURN’S NICK FAIRLEY vs. OREGON’S INTERIOR O-LINE
Auburn’s All-American DT has the potential to be the Ducks’ biggest problem.
The 298-pounder is quick off the ball and light on his feet. Oregon’s offensive line is workmanlike and solid, but asking center Jordan Holmes and guards Carson York and C.E. Kaiser to handle Fairley might be asking too much.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Auburn: QB Cam Newton. Defenses and scandals have done nothing to slow down the Heisman Trophy winner. The 250-pound All-American became the first player to run for more than 1,000 yards and pass for more than 2,000 yards in SEC history
Oregon: RB LaMichael James. The nation’s leading rusher with 1,682 yards finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. The All-American isn’t the biggest guy, 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, but he’s speedy and tough enough to run between the tackles.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oregon leads the nation in scoring at 49.4 points per game and is second in total offense at 597 yards per game. … Auburn is sixth in scoring at 42.7 points and seventh in total offense at 497 yards per game. … This is the first BCS championship game in which both teams started the season ranked outside the AP top 10. … Ducks QB Darron Thomas has 28 touchdown passes, second-best in school history behind Akili Smith’s 32 in 1998. … Auburn has eight come-from-behind victories, four from double digits. … Both Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Auburn coach Gene Chizik are in their second seasons in their jobs.