Oregon Coach Discusses Auburn

Oregon coach Chip Kelly talks about Auburn and facing the Tigers.

Eugene, Ore.--Much of the talk during the 2010 season and heading into the BCS National Championship Game as far as the Auburn Tigers are concerned has been about quarterback Cameron Newton and rightly so. The Heisman Trophy winner and the most dominant player in the country this season, Newton has been a huge reason why the Tigers are a perfect 13-0 and getting ready to face 12-0 Oregon on Jan. 10 for the title.

It hasn't been just Newton though despite what some media types would lead you to believe. If you don't think that's true just ask Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who said the Tigers are a dangerous team in all areas of the game.

"Offensively they have more than just Cam," Kelly said. "You don't get to 13-0 with just one player. Both running backs Dyer (Michael Dyer) and McCalebb (Onterio McCalebb), they are two different types of backs. Dyer is the bigger, bruiser-type back at 215. He's a physical runner. It's amazing he's a true freshman and doing what he's doing. Onterio can fly.

"Their tight end (Philip Lutzenkirchen) seems to make plays and I think (Terrell) Zachery, (Kodi) Burns, (Emory) Blake and (Darvin) Adams at the receiver spot are outstanding. They are really, really well-coached on the offensive line. On the offensive side of the football it's not just Cam they've got a lot of really, really good guys that go along with him."

Perhaps the biggest key in the title game will be how well Auburn's special teams plays against a Ducks squad that has been as good as anybody in the country this season. Leading the nation with an insane 19.2 yard average on punt returns with five touchdowns, Oregon's net punting average of 38.6 is one the best in the country as well. Add in the ability to cover kicks and you have a group that has been instrumental in Oregon's success this year.

Kelly said that in several games this season the special teams helped the Ducks break open a close game and give them the spark they've needed. He said that in watching Auburn's special teams he's been impressed by some of the things they've done and it's just part of the big picture when playing for it all.

"I think Auburn has a nice scheme from a special teams standpoint," Kelly said. "They do a great job of getting some of their top players out there and they can scare you. I know from our special teams we spend a lot of time on it both in meetings and in practice. It has been integral in what we do.

"It's going to be a huge part in the game," he added. "I think both teams are good in special teams. You don't get to the national championship game with just one side of your team being good. Obviously Auburn is known because of Cam and those other guys but they are outstanding on defense, they are outstanding on special teams. All three phases have to click for us to win this game."

Averaging 49.3 points and 537.5 yards of total offense per game, Oregon is one of the top offensive teams in college football in the last decade. Still the temptation might be to try to add some new wrinkles in with almost 40 days between their last game against Oregon State and the Jan. 10 contest. Just like Auburn coaches Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn have said time and time again, Kelly said you just have to resist that temptation and play to the strengths of your team and what got you there.

"We're going to do what we're going to do," Kelly said. "Gene and Gus are going to do what they do and we'll see who plays. This game is going to be won and lost by our players. I think we're both aware of that fact. We're not going to handcuff our guys and try to put in too much and put in too many things. I think that's a real big part of both teams' successes.

"We run a unique offense and they run a unique offense," he added. "They run it at a high level and we run ours at a high level. Both teams are very, very good on defense. When you get to this point in the season they've seen everything we're going to do and I think we've seen everything they're going to do. It's a matter of going out and executing. I'm not going to out scheme Gene Chizik and try to trick him. That's not what you do in the national championship game. You just let your players go play."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories