Philadelphia Eagles News

Newton's BCS Win A Sore Subject For Ducks

January 10, 2011.

Blue and orange confetti rained from the rafters of University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Auburn Tigers drove 73 yards in 2:32 and kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired to win the 2011 BCS National Championship. Cam Newton, the consensus best collegiate football player in the country, hoisted the crystal football in victory. Elsewhere, in the bowels of the stadium, a collection of Oregon Ducks had been defeated.

Those Ducks were led by Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. As you know, a number of his players now don the Eagles' midnight green.

This Monday night, Kelly and his fellow former Ducks will face off with Newton for the first time since that fateful night in Arizona nearly four years ago.

For some, it's still a sore topic.

Kelly kept it short and simple when asked about the game Thursday.

"They beat us, 22-19," the head coach said. He chose to focus more on the virtues of Newton's game as he prepares to face the dual-threat quarterback Monday night.

Former Duck and current Eagles running back Kenjon Barner groans when approached about the game. He smiles, knowingly, because it's been four years. He remembers that night vividly.

"I remember it being a great game, and I remember the confetti falling on the wrong side of the field," Barner said with a smile Friday, a slight grudge stuck in the grin. "There was a lot going on. It was a great experience."

Barner recalled the miraculous run by Auburn's Michael Dyer on the game-winning drive, rolling over Oregon defenders without officially being down and gaining 37 yards on the play.

Defensive end Brandon Bair remembers it, too, more for the game itself than the brutal way it sticks in his memory. He, too, cracks a smile when asked to recount the game. His smile is a little more accepting than Barner's.

"The thing about that game was, I remember it was more of a defensive game than anything," Bair said. "The defenses both showed up and the offenses both struggled all game. So it was the exact opposite of what everyone expected; they thought it would be a big, huge blowout game with everybody throwing the ball back and forth."

Although the Tigers' offense only managed 22 points, eight of which came from defense or special teams, defensive end Taylor Hart remembers what facing Newton was like that night.

"I remember how big he was," Hart said. "Obviously he's a great quarterback, and he was able to some pretty neat things in that game. Obviously a good player. "

And apparently Newton likes to remind the Ducks of that victorious performance from time to time, including Barner. The former Duck graduated two years after Newton and was drafted by the Panthers in 2013, joining Newton for a season in Carolina.

Newton was waiting for Barner, with a friendly - but braggadocios - message.

"When I first got to Carolina," Barner explained with a laugh, "first day of spring ball when we got to OTAs, he said, 'Hey - War Eagle.' I'll never forget it."

Newton was referencing the famous Auburn battle cry, a little jab at his old foe and new teammate.

In Week 5 the Panthers traveled to Arizona, returning to the site of the championship game, and Newton once again took advantage of an opening to poke some fun at Barner.

"When we were out playing in Arizona," Barner explained, "he said to me, 'Hey, KB, where were you at? Because I was right there when the confetti was coming down.'

"Cam's a good dude, a goofy guy, a lot of fun to be around," Barner continued.

But the second-year back is ready to see Newton fall to his team this time around. Monday night, Barner and the rest of the Ducks-turned-Eagles will finally have their shot at revenge.

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