- Ryan McGee, ESPN The Magazine, NASCAR
This appears in the Jan. 7, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
CASEY MATTHEWS HAS HEARD ENOUGH of all this talk about offense. The Ducks linebacker, Clay's backfield-crashing younger brother, listens politely when a question about the upcoming BCS championship turns into an Auburn stat sheet recitation: 42.7 points and 497.7 yards per game! One offensive play run every 26 seconds! He emits a subconscious response, a heavy sigh, indicating he's seen the numbers before.
Auburn's All-America defensive tackle, Nick Fairley, is kind enough to endure a nearly identical numerical homage to the Ducks' ability to move the football: 49.3 points and 537.5 yards per game! One offensive play run every 21 seconds! Fairley tries to smile but unknowingly curls his lower lip a little.
Both wait patiently for the inevitable question at the end of the statistical dissertations. "So how do you plan on stopping such a prodigious offense?"
Ryan McGee profiles the defenses in the BCS Championship game -- how Casey Matthews, Nick Fairley and others will ultimately impact the bigger-name studs, like LaMichael James and Cam Newton.