Auburn Tigers 2010 National Championship Season Review
Auburn Tigers won their first National Championship since 1957. Cam Newton wins the Heisman Trophy, Nick Fairley wins the Lombardi Award, and Gene Chizik wins the Bear Bryant Award. This was Auburn's first undefeated season since the 2004 season. In 2004, Auburn was not in the National Championship game. They played in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech. Auburn won the 1957 Championship but did not play in the championship game. Because of recruiting violations, they were prohibited in playing in bowl games.
Cam Newton, who won the Heisman this year, had a monster year in the passing department. He threw for 20 touchdowns, but he had 20 touchdowns in rushing in one season. Cam Newton threw for more than 2,000 yards, and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in one season. His longest touchdown pass was 94 yards against La-Monroe on Oct 2, 2010. In his first game on September 4th, he threw over 350 yards, and was accounted for 5 offensive touchdowns in a win over Arkansas State.
Gene Chizik in his second year as head coach at Auburn turned the program around. After Auburn had failed to win the SEC West for several years, they went and hired Gene Chizik. Gene Chizik was head coach at Iowa State two seasons before coming to Auburn. Gene Chizikâ€™s Alma mater is the Florida Gators. Gene Chizik played for Florida Gators in 1981. Gene Chizik got a bachelor degree in education at Florida in 1985, and then was graduate assistant at Clemson from 1986-1988. He got his master degree in guidance and counseling at Clemson in 1989. While at Clemson Gene was working with outside linebackers and was part of the 1988 Citrus Bowl team and 1989 Gator Bowl team. He was under secondary coach Bill Oliver, and then Gene got his first full time coaching job at Middle Tennessee State as a defensive end coach.
Auburn Tigers this season had some real close games that could've gone either way. One game in particular was the game against South Carolina. On September 25th at Auburn, the Gamecocks led by Coach Steve Spurrier had a 20-14 lead at Halftime. Cam Newton threw two touchdowns, and rushed for three touchdowns to beat South Carolina. The Auburn Tigers had to comeback and rally in the 4th quarter. In November, Auburn played their oldest rivalry, Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia had a commanding 21-7 lead in the 1st quarter. Then Auburn came back in the 2nd quarter and scored two touchdowns, one was Cam Newton's 18 yard touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen. In the 3rd quarter, Auburn recovered an onside kick on the Auburn 41 yard line. Nine plays later, Onterrio McCalebb scored a two yard rushing touchdown to give Auburn the lead. After Georgia tied the game by Washaun Ealey's seven yard rushing touchdown, Auburn went on and scored another touchdown after a 6 play drive. Onterrio McCalebb scored another touchdown to make the game 35-31. Auburn scored two more touchdowns in the 4th quarter to seal the game.
In the finally of the regular season, Auburn went to Tuscaloosa to face their intrastate rivals. In this game, it had all the stakes to make or break for Auburn. Alabama led 21-0 in the fist quarter. Everyone thought then that Alabama pretty much had the game. Wrong!! Auburn scored a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter to make the game 24-7. In the 3rd quarter, Cam Newton threw a 70 yard touchdown pass to Terrell Zachery to make it 24-14. The Tigers made the game a three point lead for Alabama when Cam Newton rushed for a one yard touchdown. Alabama ended the quarter with a field goal to make it 27-21. In the 4th quarter, Cam Newton threw a seven yard touchdown to Philip Lutzenkirchen to tie and take the lead. Auburn would beat Alabama 28-27, it was the first time that Auburn trailed by 24 points to come back to beat Alabama.
In the SEC Championship game, Auburn once again faced South Carolina Gamecocks. In this game, it was not a close one. Cam Newton had a total of 408 yards on the day. Cam Newton passed for 335 yards and rushed for 73 yards on the day. Auburn beat South Carolina 56- 17, it was the most points in SEC championship since the 1996 Florida Gators.
In the National Championship game, Oregon and Auburn went down to the wire in Auburn's 22-19 win. In the game, Oregon took a 3-0 lead in the 2nd quarter, then Auburn came back and scored a 35 yard pass touchdown by Cam Newton to Kodi Burns. Oregon then took the lead again on an 8 yard pass from Darron Thomas to LaMichael James, and then converted on a two point conversion. It was now 11-7, Auburn then cut the deficit to 11-9 when Auburn's Mike Blanc sacked running back LaMichael James in the end zone for a safety. Auburn then took the lead on a Cam Newton's 30 yard pass to Emory Blake late in the 2nd quarter.
In the 3rd quarter, Auburn only got a field goal by Wes Bynum to make it 19-11. In the 4th quarter Oregon tied the game with a LaMichael James touchdown and a two point conversion. It was now 19-19 with 2:33 remaining in the game. Auburn then marched down the field and with time expiring, Wes Bynum kicked a 19 yard field goal to win the game. Auburn was now CHAMPS! Auburn was the National Champions without dispute after beating Number 2 Oregon.
Thanks to Kavin Caruso for writing this article for SEC Sports Fan.
Check out current Auburn Tigers Football information and Auburn vs Oregon: 2011 BCS Championship Game Review.
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