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And Another Thing

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A few thoughts on The Game

Wow. Guess we all got smacked around some, all us Grade-A USDA choice experts who figured the BCS "national championship" game would be like watching kittens on Red Bull.

Instead we got ... defense.

Two goal-line stands. A safety. Auburn holding Oregon, which came in averaging better than 300 yards per game on the ground, to 75 yards rushing. And instead of, say, 47-41, as the Blob so inaccurately predicted, we get something as blindlingly sane as 22-19.

In the end, all the pinball-machine scenarios bowed to Just Football orthodoxy, i.e., this was decided in the trenches. Auburn's defensive front whipped the Oregon offensive line like Nixon whipped McGovern, and everything else in this game flowed from that.

Because Oregon couldn't get off the ball, it couldn't run. Because it couldn't run, it couldn't run its customary 90 plays in rapid succession. Because it couldn't do that, it couldn't leave the Auburn defense stepping on its tongues, the way Oregon left so many of the defenses it plain wore out in the second half of games with its hurry-hurry-hurry playcalling.

Auburn didn't let it do that, because it got the Ducks off the field. And it got them off the field largely because it controlled the line of scrimmage.

So: Auburn 22, Oregon 19.

We wuz wrong.

Ben Smith's blog.

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