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THREE FOR THE MONEY
Chris Nashawaty
December 31, 2012
SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012
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December 31, 2012

Three For The Money

SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012

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Johnson: Marqise is the most talented player in college football; there's no question about it. He's a freak!

Barner: He's electric. I call him the One-play Guy—all it takes for him is one blown coverage, one missed assignment, and he could be gone.

McDonald: He was a beast that night [with 12 receptions for 157 yards]. Any other year he would be a Heisman finalist. He's a man among kids. When he caught that TD, it showed you USC wasn't going to give up.

Davis: Look at Kenjon Barner and Marqise Lee that night; it was a dance—"I see what you're doing; you see what I'm doing." Every time Kenjon did something, Marqise came back and did something on his end.

Kiffin: They were trading blows. At halftime we were down 34--24, and I felt good. Most teams weren't even close to Oregon at half. It felt like it was starting to move our way.

Davis: After halftime we started getting the Alabama-LSU score, but our game was so good, I didn't have much interest. I needed oxygen at our half.

McDonald: In the second half it actually became a one-possession game a couple of times. And we've got our eye on the Alabama-LSU score. It was such a cool environment. Whenever we went to commercial, Gus and Charles were asking, "What's going on in the other games?"

Mariota: My favorite pass was my second TD to Josh Huff, at the end of the third quarter. (8)It was right after a big moment for USC—they had just come within three, and it was 41--38. That's one of my favorite moments of the whole year.

McDonald: Both sides were going to keep scoring. Probably the biggest disappointment of that game was the onside kick with about five minutes left. We all thought USC got it. We thought we had the definitive angle, and we thought it was clear that they should have gotten the ball back. Had that call gone for them, the ending would have been amazing. USC just couldn't get over that last hump.

Kiffin: It was unfortunate for Matt Barkley. If we'd won that game [and the week earlier, against Arizona], suddenly we're talking about him in the Heisman race, if not at the front of it.

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