The Oregon Ducks survived the Pac-10 this year and were rewarded with a trip to Glendale, Arizona for the BCS Championship. Awaiting them at University of Phoenix Stadium is SEC champion Auburn and Heisman quarterback Cam Newton. The college football world is watching, and the rest of the nation has their eyes on Glendale as the Ducks and Tigers square-off on Monday night.
Oregon is led by a powerful running game, featuring dual-threat quarterback Darron Thomas, Heisman finalist LaMichael James and burner Kenjon Barner. The Ducks boast the third-best rushing attack in the nation, averaging an eye-popping 303.8 yards per game. James led the way with 1,682 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground, with Barner adding another 519 yards and six touchdowns.
It's not all about the speedy backs and misdirection of the spread-option attack, though. Thomas, in his first year at the helm for Oregon, has shown himself to be a capable passer, as well, keeping defenses honest while hitting the quick-strike time and again. For the year, he's thrown for 2,518 yards and 28 touchdowns, 12 of which went to Jeffrey Maehl. The Maehl-man is just under the 1,000-yard mark for the season, catching 68 passes for 943 yards.
On the other side, it's the Cam Newton show for the Auburn Tigers. The Heisman winner put together a prolific all-around season, throwing for over 2,000 yards and running for over 1,000 yards. Newton finished with 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air, adding another 1,409 yard and 21 touchdowns on the ground. His game-breaking speed, size and powerful arm creates fits for opposing defense.
Looking to slow down the Ducks' explosive rushing attack will be Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. The polarizing star is the biggest bright spot on a defense that's been less than spectacular in 2010. Fairley finished the regular season 55 tackles and 10.5 sacks, leaving quarterbacks strewn in his wake all year. Discipline, gap-control and the ability to penetrate, disrupting the Oregon running game will be pivotal for the Auburn defense.
The BCS Championship kicks off on Monday night at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Follow our StoryStream leading up to the game for the latest news and information on the game as the Ducks and Tigers hit the field for the BCS title. For more on the Ducks and Tigers, visit SB Nation's Addicted to Quack and Track Em Tigers.