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2010 National Champions


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Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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Copyright © 2011 The Ledger-Enquirer • TD Publishing All rights reserved. Except for use in review, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Publishers: Todd Walker & David Kasel Graphic design by Christina Greenwalt-Testa Cover design by Christina Greenwalt-Testa Printed in the United States of America ISBN 978-0-615-43257-1 This book is available in quantity at special discounts for your group or organization. For further information, contact: TD Publishing 6725 Pond Rd. Cumming, GA 30040 404-429-8720 or 309-530-1761

Ledger-Enquirer Staff: President and Publisher: Rodney Mahone Vice President and Executive Editor: Joe Kieta Vice President/Marketing: Heather Williams Photo Editor: Mike Haskey Sports Editor: Kevin Price Auburn Beat Writer: Andy Bitter Photographer: Robin Trimarchi (All Photographs courtesy of Robin Trimarchi unless otherwise noted) The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer is published daily by Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Inc., 17 W. 12th St., Columbus GA 31901-2413.

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All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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INSIDE: Cottonmouths to honor 3rd Brigade, give discounts for military B2 GAMECOCKS CLAIM EAST SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2010

Sports

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INSIDE: CSU cross country runner comes in second at national championship B3

FALCONS PLAY BUCS PAGE B5

Sports Editor Kevin Price — kprice@ledger-enquirer.com — 706-571-8590

ledger-enquirer.com

ALABAMA 30, MISSISSIPPI STATE 10

AUBURN 49, GEORGIA 31

ON TOP OF THE WEST Auburn comes back from 21-7 deficit to beat Bulldogs; Tigers win SEC West

BUTCH DILL/Associated Press

Alabama tight end Michael Williams is pushed out of bounds by Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks after catching a pass for a first down during the first half of Saturday’s game.

Big plays fuel Tide’s win over Miss. St.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2010

Sports

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Sports Editor Kevin Price — kprice@ledger-enquirer.com — 706-571-8590

ledger-enquirer.com

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP | AUBURN 56, SOUTH CAROLINA 17

CORRECTION High school athletics: A portion of the All-Bi-City story in Thursday’s sports section was omitted. The full story is inside today on B8.

ROBIN TRIMARCHI/rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

AUBURN, Ala. — The Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd didn’t budge following No. 2 Auburn’s 49-31 win against Georgia, saluting the new SEC West champions in an elaborate post-game celebration that included video highlights, singa-longs and a lap around the field by the seniors. For a moment, it was as though the Cam Newton cloud didn’t hover over the program. The Tigers (11-0, 7-0 SEC) clinched their first berth in the SEC title game since 2004 in typical fashion, roaring back from an early deficit with a defense that made just enough plays and an overwhelming rushing attack that topped 300 yards for the sixth straight SEC game. “We have goals at the beginning of the year,� said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who is 19-5 in two years on the Plains after going 5-19 at Iowa State. “And this was the first one.� South Carolina, which beat Florida Saturday to clinch its first SEC title game berth, will be Auburn’s opponent in Atlanta on Dec. 4. But the Tigers took Saturday’s postgame to cherish what they had just accomplished. The seniors lingered on the field afterward, knowing it was

DAVE MARTIN/Associated Press

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton dumps a cooler on coach Gene Chizik following a 49-31 win over Georgia on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

their last game in the stadium. They eventually took a victory lap, cheered on by their adoring fans. The celebration was partly for winning the West — a long road back from the disappointing 5-7 season two years ago that ended Tommy TuberDAVE MARTIN/Associated Press ville’s tenure. Georgia coach Mark Richt reacts following an Auburn score in But the Tigers’ veterans were well the first half during Saturday’s game in Auburn, Ala. aware they vanquished rival Georgia (5-6, 3-5) for the first time since 2006, SEE

AUBURN, B6

“Our goal when we came here was to win a championship. And we haven’t done that yet.� Gene Chizik, Auburn coach Columbus High won its second Class AAA title in three years with a stuntfilled, high-flying routine. Carrollton finished second, and Cartersville took third place.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —None looked like much to start. Each ended with points. Using three innocent-looking plays, Alabama steam-rolled past Mississippi State 30-10 on the same evening Auburn’s win officially knocked the Crimson Tide out of the SEC title hunt. Combining the three big plays — an out-route, screen pass and end-around — Alabama netted 183 of its 452 total yards while keeping the No. 17 Bulldogs from doing any real damage with its complex running game. “We’ve got some guys who can make some explosive plays so we want to get the ball in their hands,� coach Nick Saban said. “We made some that were really big in terms of us being able to score enough points to be successful. Getting ahead of these guys early was important as well so those big plays helped us do that.� Early on, neither side could stop the opposing offense until it reached scoring territory. Mississippi State controlled the line of scrimmage with its read-option plays while Alabama found success through the air with McElroy finding his usual suspects for seven first downs. When it came time to punch it in the end zone, the engines broke down and three field goals left Alabama (8-2, 5-2 SEC) leading 6-3 after one quarter. The Bulldogs, losers for the first time in seven games, had some success running the ball in the first possession, gained 40 yards on the first seven plays before RobSEE

ALABAMA, B5

GHSA STATE CHEERLEADING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Columbus regains state championship Blue Devils’ season of work pays off By LILY GORDON Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

DARRELL ROADEN/Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

Columbus High School earned its second Georgia High School Association Class AAA state cheerleading title in three seasons Saturday at the Columbus Civic Center. “Words can’t describe this,� said Columbus senior Morgan Brooks moments after being handed the first-place trophy. “We’ve worked so hard

Devils. “They did exactly what they were supposed to,� Columbus coach Merrimore McDonald said. “They hit every stunt and I couldn’t have asked for anything else. ‘I’m extremely proud,� McDonald continued. “The difficulty was there, the stunts were there. It was their day. They shined.� Columbus landed in the DARRELL ROADEN/Special to the Ledger-Enquirer top six in their class followNorthside finished fourth in Saturday’s Class AAAA competition. ing a tough day of competithis season. We had two-aIt was a two-minute and tion. Just nine points separatdays every day and we just 30-second routine packed edthem from the second-place worked really hard and I’m with high-flying stunts that just so glad we won.� clinched the title for the Blue SEE CHEER, B10

WON’T BE DENIED

Coin flip today to pick home team for state semifinal By CHRIS WHITE cwhite@ledger-enquirer.com

For weeks, Carver coach Dell McGee has eased running back Isaiah Crowell from injury back to his start-

ing job. On Friday, he finally cut him loose. Crowell rushed for five touchdowns and 305 yards on 20 carries as No. 1 Carver (13-0) defeated Thomasville (9-4) 40-14 in a Georgia High School Association Class AA quarterfinal matchup at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium. Crowell said he tried to

IRON BOWL

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become a more vocal leader in recent weeks, and before the game he told his teammates he was ready to break out if they could give him just a little help. “I was telling my offensive line that it starts with them,� Crowell said. “If you block well, we’ll be fine because I’m going to do my part every game.� Carver advances to the

semifinals to play No. 3 Calhoun, which defeated No. 8 Fitzgerald 31-13. Representatives from Carver and Calhoun will meet today to flip a coin to determine which of the top-seeded teams will host the game. Regardless of which team wins the toss, Friday marked Carver’s final appearance at JOE PAULL/jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com

SEE

CROWELL, B9

Carver’s Isaiah Crowell is brought down by the Bulldogs.

GEORGIA FOOTBALL

AUBURN 28, ALABAMA 27

A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES Auburn keeps title hopes alive with second-half rally By ANDY BITTER abitter@ledger-enquirer.com

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Auburn has had its share of stunning comebacks this year, erasing double-digit deficits in wins against South Carolina, Clemson and Georgia. They all pale in comparison to Friday’s. The No. 2 Tigers rallied from a 24-point first-half deficit to pull out a 28-27 win against No. 11 Alabama, ending the Crimson Tide’s 20-game unbeaten streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “That was a game that will certainly go down in history,� Tigers coach Gene Chizik said, with no hint of hyperbole. Auburn (12-0, 8-0 SEC) kept its national Talk about title hopes Friday’s game with alive in the beat process, with writer an SEC title game match- Andy Bitter up against in his blog at www.ledgerSouth Car- enquirer. olina next com/auburn week in Atlanta all that separates the Tigers from a date in Glendale, Ariz., for the BCS title game. Although Auburn has come from behind in eight of its 12 victories this season, the 24-point deficit was the largest comeback in school history. “We’ve been like situations like this all the time,� linebacker Eltoro Freeman said. “We never point fingers. We never do none of that, man. We just stick to-

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ROBIN TRIMARCHI/rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton sits on the shoulders of offensive lineman Byron Isom and other teammates after the Tigers’ 56-17 win over South Carolina for the SEC championship.

Embroiled in a recruiting scandal, Newton leads Tigers into BCS national title game By ANDY BITTER abitter@ledger-enquirer.com

ATLANTA — As the final seconds ticked off of Auburn’s 5617 rout of South Carolina in the SEC championship game, offensive linemen Mike Berry and Byron Isom hoisted quarterback Cam Newton upon their shoulders for an impromptu victory parade through a cascade of confetti falling from the Georgia Dome ceiling. For once, Newton’s teammates were carrying him. Newton, the star quarterback who has spent the last month embroiled in a recruiting scandal, was as masterful as ever Saturday, accounting for 408

yards and six touchdowns to earn the contest’s MVP award as Auburn (13-0) secured a spot in the Bowl Championship Series national title game Jan. 10 against Oregon. “A wise man told me, if God is with me, who can be against me?� Newton said during the trophy presentation, his first public comments since Nov. 9. Flanked by Newton at the postgame press conference, Auburn coach Gene Chizik didn’t hold back his praise of the player who transformed the Tigers from a team on the rise to national title contender in less than a year. SEE

AUBURN, B8

INSIDE WR Darvin Adams sets new SEC title game record, B9

COMMENTARY

Jacobs got it right ATLANTA — ay Jacobs stood on the platform on the Georgia Dome floor Saturday night, soaking in a steady rain of confetti and paper streamers. He smiled contentedly, savoring every blessed moment of his first SEC football championship as Auburn’s athletic director. Jacobs watched the Auburn players and coaches celebrate their 56-17 drubbing of South Carolina, satisfied to stay in the background. A more vengeful man might have allowed himself a moment of personal privi-

J

Commentary: S.C. has long way to go, B10

AU defense plays first complete game, B8

lege and, yes, MY OPINION even vindication. That would seem justifiable for one who was, at best, questioned and, at worst, vilified for turning over the football program to a coach, Gene Chizik, who had won five games in the previous two seasons. But Jacobs, the epitome of class and a Southern gentle-

Guerry Clegg

SEE

CLEGG, B8

NFL scouts have noticed senior WR By SETH EMERSON semerson@ledger-enquirer.com

ATHENS, Ga. — There have been few positive, feel-good stories on this year’s Georgia football team. But Kris Durham is one. The player whom fellow receivers now in the NFL used to call “White Lightningâ€? will play his final game at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. He may deserve the most rousing Senior Day ovation from fans, considering his production and how long he waited for this kind of year. Durham missed all of the 2009 season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Injuries also held him back in 2008, after he showed promise as a freshman and sophomore. “He’s very underrated as a player,â€? Georgia tight end Aron White said. “And I think if he had stayed a little healthier ‌ he’d be more of a household name here around Georgia. Durham’s name recognition may have been bolstered among at least one important group: NFL scouts. The 6-foot-5 always had the size for the next level and a good dose of speed, too; he qualified for the state track and field meet in five different events in high school. The problem was Durham wasn’t getting much of a chance to show he could catch passes and make plays. That changed this year, when A.J. Green’s suspension shifted Durham into the featured receiving role the first four games. Durham’s production tailed off a bit when Green returned but not too much. Durham settled into the No. 2 receiving role and still had some big games and catches — the biggest one, coming on national television at Auburn, when he wrestled a long pass away from a Tigers cornerback. That play caused a ruckus on Twitter among ex-Bulldogs watching the game. Mohamed Massaquoi, now with the Cleveland Browns,

UGA, B4

RALLY, B7

NEXT GAME t "MBCBNB TBGFUZ .BSL #BSSPO TVGGFSFE BO injury in the game. t "MBCBNB GBOT IBE RVJUF UIF SFDFQUJPO GPS Auburn QB Cam Newton. Read more at ledgerenquirer.com/sports

GEORGIA TECH AT GEORGIA When: 7:45 p.m. Saturday BUTCH DILL/Associated Press

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (43) celebrates with offensive lineman Ryan Pugh (50), quarterback Cam Newton, and offensive lineman Mike Berry after scoring what proved to be the winning touchdown during the fourth quarter Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Find the Tag boxes throughout the book and see and hear postgame interviews on your smart phone! To use, simply download a FREE code scanner app to your smart phone! To get the TAG READER visit http://gettag.mobi on your mobile phone browser. Then simply activate the app, and hold phone over the corresponding box, take a picture and instantly access post game video.

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

Durham’s senior season is stellar

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Crowell’s 305 yards lifts Tigers

By MICHAEL CASAGRANDE

By ANDY BITTER

Sports Editor Kevin Price — kprice@ledger-enquirer.com — 706-571-8590

CARVER 40, THOMASVILLE 14

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

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Sports

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Bama totals 452 yards, 183 of them on 3 plays

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton dives over the line for a 1-yard touchdown to seal a 49-31 win over Georgia on Saturday in Auburn, Ala.

INSIDE: Cottonmouths knock off Knoxville in shootout. B3 SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2010

TV: ESPN, 7:45 p.m. Radio: WGSY-FM 100.1, 3:45 p.m.; WAGH-FM 101.3, 5:45 p.m.


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A Note From The Editor... t wasn’t long after I arrived as the new executive editor of the Ledger-Enquirer in late August when locals started asking me one question: “Do you like college football?” Before I’d be able to answer, the questioner always would add a “you’d better.”

I

Thankfully, I’ve followed the college game since my youth in Ohio, and I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the sport’s passion and pageantry. It was a given that coverage of Auburn University football was important to readers of the Ledger-Enquirer. What I didn’t know at the time was the kind of season that was in store for a team ranked 23rd in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. Auburn’s electrifying perfect run through a murderous Southeastern Conference football schedule – and the emergence of a little-known quarterback named Cameron Newton to Heisman Trophy-winning prominence -- proved to be as exciting to cover as it was for longtime Auburn fans to witness. If college football is a religion in this part of the country, then this year undoubtedly will have a special chapter reserved in the Deep South’s football Bible. This Auburn team overcame doubts and adversity at almost every juncture, and Ledger-Enquirer reporters and photographers were there to document each twist and turn. Beat writer Andy Bitter is the star of this book. Andy joined the Ledger-Enquirer in September of 2008, just in time to chronicle the end of the Tommy Tuberville era as head coach and the beginning of Gene Chizik’s. In addition to providing game stories and roundups for the printed Ledger-Enquirer (which are reprinted in this book), Andy produces daily updates on his highly popular blog at www.ledger-enquirer.com. He joined us from the News and Advance of Lynchburg, Va., where he covered University of Virginia athletics. On the photo side, photographer Robin Trimarchi covered all Auburn home games as well as the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa and the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Robin is a 14-year veteran of the newspaper and has photographed Auburn athletics during that time. Expertly coordinating Andy’s and Robin’s work were longtime Ledger-Enquirer sports editor Kevin Price and photo editor Mike Haskey. We’re thrilled to preserve this remarkable story through this keepsake book, which we hope will keep the 2010 season’s spirit alive for generations. Joseph W. Kieta Executive Editor, Ledger-Enquirer

Joseph W. Kieta

Mike Haskey

Kevin Price

Andy Bitter

Robin Trimarchi

Executive Editor, Ledger-Enquirer

Photo Editor, Ledger-Enquirer

Sports Editor, Ledger-Enquirer

Auburn Beat Writer, Ledger-Enquirer

Photographer, Ledger-Enquirer


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CONTENTS Pre-Season ..................................................10 Auburn vs. Arkansas State ........................ 12 Auburn vs. Mississippi State .................... 20 Auburn vs. Clemson .................................... 26 Auburn vs. South Carolina ........................ 34 Auburn vs. Louisiana Monroe .................... 44 Auburn vs. Kentucky .................................. 50 Auburn vs. Arkansas .................................. 58 Auburn vs. LSU .......................................... 68 Auburn vs. Mississippi .............................. 78 Auburn vs. Chattanooga ............................ 86 Auburn vs. Georgia .................................... 92 Auburn vs. Alabama - Iron Bowl.............. 100 Auburn vs. S Carolina - SEC .................... 116 Awards ...................................................... 132 Auburn vs. Oregon - BCS .......................... 146


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Auburn's Auburn 's Chizik Does Doesn't n't Change Hi His Ways ays But Turns ns Around ound His Coaching Record In Only Two Seasons Gene Chizik had a 5-19 record at Iowa State after two years By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. - When the weather changed for the worse at an Auburn football practice last week, wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor fully expected to move to the more restrictive indoor facility.

A

Instead, head coach Gene Chizik pulled a rain plan from his pocket and quickly began directing players to different stations on the outside fields. “I’m going, ‘Who does that?’” Taylor said. “He never ceases to amaze me when it comes to that.” Chizik has had a plan for four years as a head coach, one from which he hasn’t deviated. But his won-loss record has changed. Two years after his hire from Iowa State, where a 5-19 record prompted an overwhelming outcry from Auburn fans on Internet message boards and airport tarmacs, Chizik has won over the Auburn fan base. He has flipped his record, going 19-5 on the Plains and leading the Tigers into the national title game this season -a quicker turnaround than even the most optimistic Auburn backers could have envisioned. “He’s one of those coaches who’s been through probably all types of seasons you can go through,” center Ryan Pugh said. “He’s won national championships. He’s been undefeated and been left out of the game. He’s had some tough years. “Everyone knows that, so, whenever he speaks and tells you about things, you take it to heart, because you know he’s been through those things and he’s experienced everything you can imagine. He gets us prepared every week.” That preparation is based on precision. Everything under the coach’s watch is regimented. Taylor thinks that comes from the military background of Chizik’s father. “I’ve just always been someone who believes the devil’s in the details,” Chizik said. “You become better or worse based on those details and try to impress those on our team. We try to impress that mentality in everything that we do.” “It’s full-go every time,” cornerback T’Sharvan Bell said.

“Everything might not be full speed, but he wants you here, here, here. It’s a grind. “What you do now is what you’re going to do on the field. If you’re not giving it now, he’s not going to put you out on the field.” While it has worked at Auburn, it didn’t produce nearly the success at Iowa State. Hired as an up-and-coming defensive coordinator who had perfect seasons on his resume at Auburn and Texas, Chizik made the decision to overhaul the Cyclones’ program. But there were growing pains. With a large number of underclassmen playing prominent roles, Iowa State went 3-9 his first year and 2-10 the next. “There’s things you’ve got to do to stay on track and be patient for the right results,” Chizik said. “There’s no question that we were going to be on track to get the right results. It was just going to take a little bit longer.” Auburn came calling before Chizik could reap the benefits of the youth movement. His successor, Paul Rhoads, has gone 12-12 in two years, progress Chizik can claim to be at least partially responsible for (in the same vein that Tommy Tuberville recruited most of the juniors and seniors currently thriving for Auburn). Chizik’s plan didn’t differ much at Auburn, although it coalesced more rapidly, thanks to an aggressive, well-paid coaching staff, a more talented group of upperclassmen and a wider recruiting base to replenish the team’s ranks. He also has benefited from an offensive revival, elevated by coordinator Gus Malzahn’s inventive schemes and junior college quarterback Cam Newton’s otherworldly talents -luxuries Chizik never enjoyed at Iowa State. As a result, Chizik has gone from national punch line to SEC and national Coach of the Year candidate in two years, even though his methods remain the same. “A guy asked me the other day what’s the difference in his coaching from last year to this year,” Taylor said. “And the answer is nothing.”


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AP Images


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Auburn QB Cam Newton: “We're Not Being Auburn eing Men entioned As We Should Be� By ANDY BITTER uburn might be ranked heading into the season, but quarterback Cam Newton said the Tigers still feel like underdogs.

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"No doubt," Auburn's starting quarterback said. "Any time you turn on the TV or turn on the sports talk radio show or anywhere, they're talking about the other team." Newton was referring to Alabama, which enters the season ranked No. 1 in the country after winning last season's national championship. Auburn, which went 8-5 in Gene Chizik's first year, is ranked No. 22 in the preseason Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches'

poll. "Of course we know that they're an excellent team as well," Newton said. "We feel like we're not being mentioned as we should be." Newton didn't have an answer for why he thinks that is. But he's not concerned about it. "We're just going to do what we're coached to do, and our No. 1 thing to do is win," he said. "And I guess if you win games, you'll silence all the critics."


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Whatt Do The Pol Wha Polllst sters ers Thin Thinkk Of Aub Auburn urn?? By ANDY BITTER am Newton's comments got us to thinking: just how is Auburn perceived by the national media heading into the season? The Tigers are No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches' poll, but what about the specifics?

C

Thankfully, the AP makes its ballots public. They're all on Pollspeak.com, an interesting site if you have some time to kill. Since Auburn is off today and there isn't much football news, let's look at the Tigers' breakdown: Auburn was on 41 of 60 ballots. The voter who has Auburn the highest is Joe Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer. He has the Tigers 7th. If you take a look at his ballot, he has many extremes (like Boise State No. 1, which I support). He's the only one who has the Tigers in the top 10. Bill Cole, Coley Harvey, Desmond Conner, Bob Condotta, Jack Bogaczyk and Kirk Herbstreit have Auburn in the top 15. Interestingly, Herbstreit picked Auburn to win the West on SportsCenter last night. He still has Alabama ranked No. 1, however, so his ballot is more of an indication of accomplishment than predicted future success.

Blue Ribbon and Game Plan pick Auburn to finish second in the SEC West. Everybody else has Auburn third or fourth, except for one outlier, the Football Outsiders, who pick the Tigers to finish fifth. What is the blog's conclusion? That the season can't get here quick enough so we don't have to write anything more about this stuff.

Auburn Ranked No. 23 In Preseason Coaches' Poll Auburn is one of six SEC teams to make the poll. Here's the full poll (first place votes in parentheses, records are from last year): 1. Alabama (55), 14-0 2. Ohio State (4), 11-2 3. Florida, 13-1 4. Texas, 13-1 5. Boise State, 14-0 6. Virginia Tech, 10-3

A couple other SEC writers of note have Auburn pretty high: Kyle Veazey (Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson) has the Tigers 16th.

7. TCU, 12-1 8. Oklahoma, 8-5 9. Nebraska, 10-4 10. Iowa, 11-2

Chip Cosby (Kentucky beat writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader) has them 17th.

11. Oregon, 10-3

Randy Rosetta (LSU beat writer for the Advocate of Baton Route) has them 17th.

13. Miami (Fla.), 9-4

Wes Rucker (Tennessee beat writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press) has them 18th.

12. Wisconsin 10-3 14. Penn State, 11-2 15. Pittsburgh, 10-3 16. LSU, 9-4 17. Georgia Tech, 11-3

Alabama has two voters. Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News has Auburn ranked 20th. Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News has the Tigers unranked.

18. North Carolina, 8-5 19. Arkansas, 8-5 20. Florida State, 7-6

What does all this mean? Well ... nothing. The polls usually are completely different looking after three or four weeks. Furthermore, none of it is factored into the BCS rankings, so a berth in a major bowl game doesn't ride on them anymore.

21. Georgia, 8-5 22. Oregon State, 8-5 23. Auburn, 8-5 24t. Utah, 10-3

As for the national publications, there's nothing too out of the ordinary there. The Sporting News, Phil Steele, ESPN's

24t. West Virginia, 9-4


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AP RANK

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AUBURN

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ARKANSAS STATE 26 9.4.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Tigers igers' New Qu Quarterb arterback ack Ca Cam m Newton Lives Up To Hype But Defense Doesn't In 52-26 Season-Opening Win Against Arkansas State By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — Cam Newton’s long-awaited return to the Southeastern Conference couldn’t have gone much better.

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Newton, who hadn’t played in an SEC game since the 2008 opener for Florida, dabbled in a bit of everything in his unveiling Saturday night as No. 22 Auburn beat Arkansas State 52-26 in the season opener. The junior college transfer dazzled a Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd of 83,441 with a big, accurate arm and nimble feet, accounting for 357 total yards and five touchdowns — three in the air and two on the ground. “Being his first football game, I couldn’t be prouder of what he did,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. Newton showed all the abilities that made him the top-ranked junior college quarterback recruit last year, completing 9-of-14 passes for 186 yards and running 15 times for 171 more. He broke the school’s 36-year-old single-game quarterback rushing record of 160, set by Phil Gargis against Georgia in 1974. “He was a little bit more mobile this game than I’ve ever seen,” Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes said. “You get him in practice, they blow the whistle real fast. To finally see them not blow the whistle and let him run, I think it was amazing (Saturday).” Auburn finished with 608 yards of offense, but it took the Tigers a while to get out of the blocks. Down 6-0 midway through the first, Newton sparked them with a 15-yard draw on third down. After a 36-yard run by Onterio McCalebb, Kodi Burns scored out of the wildcat formation to give Auburn its first lead at 7-6. The Tigers didn’t look back. Newton hit running back Mario Fannin for a 36-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the next drive. Then the quarterback showed off his athleticism, sidestepping five would-be tacklers in the backfield on one play and escaping for a 15-yard gain. 14

“I think it changes the way defenses play you,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said of Newton’s mobility. “I mean, you’ve got to really be aware, because he���s got some big-play ability and can make things when the play breaks down.” Malzahn opened up the playbook on the next snap, putting third-string quarterback Neil Caudle in the game as a wide receiver and lateraling him the ball. Caudle fired 42 yards to Darvin Adams to the 2, setting up a touchdown run by Newton to make it 21-6. Next up was the deep ball. Newton put the perfect touch on a 48-yard lob that dropped perfectly into Quindarius Carr’s arms for another touchdown, making it 28-13. He rounded out his first-half showcase with a 71-yard run on a quarterback draw along the sideline, almost effortlessly separating himself from the Arkansas State defenders. It was the second-longest run by a quarterback in school history and gave Auburn a 35-16 halftime lead. “It was really a busted play,” Newton said. “I saw it open up like the Red Sea and just took off.” Despite the offensive outburst, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Tigers. The defense didn’t look too much different than the unit that surrendered a school-record 358 points last season. Using an up-tempo offense similar to Auburn’s, Arkansas State racked up 366 yards. Red Wolves quarterback Ryan Aplin picked apart the Tigers’ secondary with a variety of underneath routes, going 28-for-42 for 278 yards and a touchdown. After Auburn fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, Arkansas State capitalized, getting an 8-yard touchdown run by Derek Lawson that cut the lead to 35-23. “When you go into league play, we are not good enough to beat anybody doing that,” Chizik said. But the Tigers stiffened on defense. Although they didn’t

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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force a turnover, the Tigers sacked Aplin four times and limited Arkansas State to 43 rushing yards on 35 carries. The Red Wolves were only 5-for-19 on third-down conversions. Newton gave Auburn some breathing room midway through the third quarter, hooking up with Fannin for a 38-yard touchdown pass to make it a three-score game again at 42-23. Freshman Michael Dyer led the Auburn running backs with 95 yards on 14 carries, including his first career touchdown, a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter. McCalebb ran for 76 yards on nine carries. Strangely, No. 1 back Mario Fannin got only three carries for 17 yards, fumbling once, although he thrived in the passing game.

“We’ve got so much work to do,” Chizik said. “Our whole football team understands that we have not arrived yet.”

“Being his (Cam Newton) first football game, I couldn’t be prouder of what he did,” Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik said.

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Frampton 10 yd pass from Aplin (Davis kick blocked) 5:18 Burns 3 yd run (Byrum kick) 3:27 Fannin 36 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 1:00

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Quarterback Cam Newton Named SEC Offensive Player Of The Week After Impressive Debut am Newton's impressive debut caught the eye of the SEC. The quarterback was named the league's Offensive Player of the Week after a five-touchdown effort in a 52-26 win against Arkansas State in the opener.

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Newton ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and completed 9 of 14 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. His 357 total offensive yards and five touchdowns were SEC highs in the first week. Newton is the first Auburn player to be named SEC Offensive Player of the Week since Kenny Irons earned the award in 2006, and the first Tiger quarterback to receive the honor since Jason Campbell in 2004.

AU ASU

Dyer 2 yd run (Byrum kick) Davis 41 yd field goal

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FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

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AU 23 49-367 241 16-11-0 5-47 6-131 0-0 4-39.2 2-2 7-60 25:37 5 of 10 0 of 0 4-5

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior college transfer broke Auburn's single-game quarterback rushing record of 160 set by Phil Gargis in 1974. Newton's rushing total was the most in a debut by a Tigers player since Rudi Johnson went for 174 against Wyoming in 2000. Running back Mike Dyer also got a nod from the SEC as an honorable mention. The freshman ran 14 times for 95 yards and a touchdown in his debut 16

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley applies pressure to Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Newton 15-171 Dyer 14-95 McCalebb 9-76 Hooper 5-15 Fannin 3-14 Burns 2-2 Zachery 1 (-6) PASSING Newton 9-14-0-186 Caudle 1-1-0-42 Trotter 1-1-0-13

AUBURN RECEIVING Fannin Carr Adams Winter Dyer Zachery

4-65 2-87 2-58 1-13 1-9 1-9

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Lawson Robertson Aplin

16-45 7-20 12-(-22)

PASSING Aplin 28-42-0-278 Butterfield 5-7-0-45

ARKANSAS STATE RECEIVING Frampton Stockemer Muse Henderson Robinson McCants Smith Lawson Murry

8-74 6-58 4-80 4-22 3-24 2-20 2-19 2-17 2 -9


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Auburn sophomore running back, Onterio McCalebb rushes past Arkansas State defenders.


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Auburn Inching Up Both Major Polls uburn's win against Arkansas State gave it a modest bump in both major polls. The Tigers jumped three spots in the latest USA Today coaches' poll, from No. 23 to a tie for No. 20. They moved up one spot in the Associated Press poll to No. 21.

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The Tigers had 371 points in the coaches' poll after getting 260 the first week. They're tied with Utah at No. 23, moving ahead of Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Oregon State, who all lost in their openers. Auburn is one of seven SEC teams in the rankings, joining No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Florida, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 16 LSU, No. 19 Georgia and No. 25 South Carolina. In the AP poll, Auburn had 362 points, just behind Utah at no. 20 and ahead of Georgia at No. 22.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 19. LSU (1-0) 384 points, LW: 21 20. Utah (1-0) 365 points, LW: NR 21. Auburn (1-0) 362 points, LW: 22 22. Georgia (1-0) 353 points, LW: 23 23. West Virginia (1-0) 226 points, LW: 25

AP poll snapshot: 18. Florida State (1-0) 500 points, LW: 20 19. Georgia (1-0) 458 points, LW: 21 20. Auburn (1-0) 371 points, LW: 23 20. Utah (1-0) 371 points, LW: t24 22. West Virginia (1-0) 185 points, LW: t24


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MISSISSIPPI STATE

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9.9.2010 | Davis Wade Stadium | Starkville, MS


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Auburn'ss Defe Auburn' Defens nsee Steps Up Up,, Holds On To Beat Mississippi State 17-14 By ANDY BITTER TARKVILLE, Miss. — With its All-SEC left tackle and starting running back sidelined by injuries, Auburn’s offense had plenty of issues, even before it took into account the deafening noise of 55,000 constantly clanging cowbells.

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No. 20 Auburn’s defense silenced its critics with an inspired performance in the SEC opener, holding Mississippi Sate scoreless for the final 24 minutes of the Tigers’ 17-14 nail-biter of a victory Thursday night at Davis Wade Stadium.

It’s a good thing the Tigers’ much-maligned defense came to the rescue.

“There are a lot of experts out there,” oft-criticized Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “I was really proud of how hard they fought together and hung together. It wasn’t

Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb picks up some tough yardage against the Mississippi State defense.

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always pretty, but to hold them to 240 yards, I’m really proud of that.” Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was the offensive star for the second straight week, throwing for two first-half touchdowns and accounting for 208 total yards. But when Gus Malzahn’s high-octane offense stalled after halftime, Roof ’s beleaguered defensive unit saved the day. The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 SEC) trimmed the Tigers’ lead to three, 17-14, with 8:55 left in the third quarter, but Auburn’s defense allowed only 73 yards the rest of the game, thwarting a potential game-winning drive in the closing seconds. Mississippi State got as close as Auburn’s 41-yard line in the final minute but couldn’t get in field-goal range. Wide receiver Leon Berry dropped a pass on third-and-10 that would have gotten the ball inside the Tigers’ 15. On fourth-and-10, quarterback Chris Relf threw a deep pass while Berry cut short his route. As the ball fluttered to the ground, Auburn’s sideline broke out in celebration. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to coach Roof,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. “He had a great game plan going on. He worked hard on getting the right players in the right spot. They played as hard as I’ve seen them play.” Auburn (2-0, 1-0) has won 17 of its last 18 SEC openers. “That’s what you get in the SEC: Road games and dog fights,” Fairley said. The Tigers got all of their offense in the first half, building a 17-7 lead. Newton continued to show he’s a dual threat, throwing touchdown passes to Emory Blake and Darvin Adams and getting 59 of his 70 rushing yards before the break. But things bogged down. Left tackle Lee Ziemba left in the second quarter with a right knee injury and watched the second half in street clothes. In the fourth quarter, running back Mario Fannin suffered a stinger to his shoulder after a hard collision near the sideline.

Vick Ballard’s 1-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs then caught Auburn napping with an onside kick as the cowbell noise reached a fever pitch. But the Tigers’ defense, which came under fire after allowing 366 yards and 26 points to Arkansas State in the opener, clamped down. Auburn forced three straight three-and-outs and allowed 25 yards on the fourth drive before linebacker Josh Bynes sniffed out a shovel pass on third-and-4, stuffing Brandon Henderson for no gain and forcing a punt. The Tigers had three sacks and four hurries of MSU’s quarterback rotation of Relf and Tyler Russell, who combined to go 16-for-35 for 129 yards. Fairley was all over the field, intercepting a pass, falling on a fumble and finishing with 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for a loss and three quarterback hurries. “We said it was going to be man against man,” Fairley said. “We had to man up.” The Bulldogs had one final chance after they blocked a 37-yard Wes Byrum field goal that would have given Auburn a touchdown lead with 2:19 to play. Aided by a pass interference call against Neiko Thorpe, MSU moved 39 yards to the brink of field-goal range, before the Tigers made their final stand, forcing four straight incompletions.

“That’s “That’ s wha hatt you ge gett in the th e SEC: Road ga gam mes and dog figh ghts,” ts,” Fairl Fairley ey said sa id..

Auburn gained 133 yards but failed to score in the second half. MSU seized momentum, marching 63 yards in just under six minutes to start the second half, pulling within 17-14 on

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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More Cowbell? Auburn Expects To Hear The Bells A-Ringin' In Starkville By ANDY BITTER ince receiving a one-year window to prove it can clang its cowbells with discretion, Mississippi State has urged its fan to ring responsibly.

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Thursday night’s game against Auburn will be the first major test to the SEC’s new guidelines. The SEC revisited a 36-year ban on artificial noisemakers at the league meetings in Destin, Fla., last spring, coming up with a cowbell compromise that allows Bulldogs fans to ring them at specific times during a football game. “That’s just one of the things that makes a place unique,” Auburn left tackle Lee Ziemba said. “It’s one of the their traditions, just like we have traditions. You have to look past it. It’s out of our control. You just have to play through it.” Fans may ring the bells before the game, at halftime, during timeouts and after scores. Violations of those guidelines could result in the school receiving escalating fines: $5,000 for a first offense, $25,000 for a second and $50,000 for a third. No in-game penalty will be assessed.

three seconds.” Does Bynes think the MSU fans will respect the rules Thursday? “Naw,” he said with a laugh.

Auburn 15th In Coaches' Poll, 16th In AP Poll uburn moved up five spots in both major polls Sunday, coming in 15th in the latest USA Today coaches' poll and 16th in the Associated Press

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poll.

The Tigers were tied for 20th last week in the coaches' poll. Auburn (2-0, 1-0 SEC) is one of six SEC teams in the top-16, joining Alabama (1), Florida (7), LSU (12), Arkansas (13) and South Carolina (16).

Unauthorized cowbell use surged last year as Dan Mullen reinvigorated the program, prompting the SEC to revisit the situation in the offseason.

Auburn was 21st last week in the AP poll. It is the lowest ranked of the six SEC teams by the media, following Alabama (1), Florida (10), Arkansas (12), South Carolina (13) and LSU (15).

Although Bulldogs fans followed the rules in a 49-7 win against Memphis last Saturday, Thursday night’s matchup — an ESPN game that is the SEC opener for both schools — figures to be a more lively atmosphere.

Clemson, the Tigers' opponent Saturday, is the first team in the others receiving votes category of the coaches' poll. Clemson is 37th in the AP voting.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik didn’t sound concerned. The Tigers usually have one practice before road games they designate as a “noise day” in order to prepare for hostile crowds. “In my opinion, every place is really, really loud in the league and every place has its challenges,” Chizik said. “We don’t really think of that any different with the noise factor. We’ll just prepare like we always do.” From a player’s perspective, however, it’s hard not to notice them. “Those cowbells, I’m glad they put those rules on them,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “They used to ring them every

Coaches' poll snapshot: 13. Arkansas, 2-0, 738 points, LW: 15 14. Utah, 2-0, 625 points, LW: 20 (tie) 15. Auburn, 2-0, 618 points, LW: 20 (tie) 16. South Carolina, 2-0, 527 points, LW: 25 17. Miami (Fla.), 1-1, 417 points, LW: 12

AP poll snapshot: 14. Utah, 2-0, 627 points, LW: 20 15. LSU, 2-0, 595 points, LW: 19 16. Auburn, 2-0, 538 points, LW: 21 17. Miami, 1-1, 530 points, LW: 12 18. Southern California, 2-0, 481 points, LW: 16


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Blake 39 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 11:22 Jackson fumble recovery in the end zone (Brauchle kick) 2:30

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Adams 12 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Byrum 34 yd field goal

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Ballard 1 yd run (Brauchle kick)

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21 46-190 158 12-21-1 2-11 2-64 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 1--1-0 PUNTS-AVG. 39.2 FUMBLES-LOST 2-1 PENALTIES-YARDS 4-35 TIME OF POSSESSION 31:48 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 6 of 14 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 1 of 1 RED-ZONE SCORED-CHANCES 2-3

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MS 16 33-117 129 16-35-1 1-4 4-90 1-0-0 41.6 2-1 2-25 28:12 5 of 15 1 of 2 2-2

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

AUBURN

RUSHING Newton 18-70 McCalebb 12-68 Dyer 9-48 Fannin 5-6 Smith 1-0 PASSING Newton 11-19-1-136 Burns 1-2-0-22

RECEIVING Zachery Adams Blake Newton Fannin Smith

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

MISSISSIPPI STATE

RUSHING Bumphis 3-27 Reilf 14-26 Hanrahan 3-21 Elliott 4-14 Ballard 5-13 Perkins 3-10 Hemphill 1-6 PASSING Relf 12-26-0-110 Russell 4-9-1-19

RECEIVING Bumphis Clark Smith Heavens Ballard Green Hanrahan Elliott Henderson

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4-32 3-38 2-39 1-22 1-14 1-13

5-34 2-28 2-21 2-6 1-22 1-11 1-4 1-3 1-0

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AUBURN CLEMSON

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9.18.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Auburn Rallies, Wins In Overtime Over Clemson Clemson’s overtime field goal goes wide left to preserve Auburn’s comeback win By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — It wasn’t as gut-churning as last season’s Outback Bowl overtime thriller, but Saturday night’s win might have been just as satisfying for No. 16 Auburn.

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The Tigers rallied from a 17-point first-half deficit and survived an overtime session at Jordan-Hare Stadium, coming away with a 27-24 overtime victory against Clemson to remain unbeaten. Wes Byrum made a 39-yard field goal for Auburn (3-0) to start overtime. Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro couldn’t match, hooking a 32-yarder wide left into the blue-clad Auburn student section that erupted in celebration. “We just want to make it exciting, that’s for sure” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who has two overtime victories in his last four games. “I couldn’t be more proud of just the way they responded.” Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was 7-for-14 for 203 yards and two touchdowns but threw two interceptions, part of a hit-or-miss night for the Tigers’ offense, which gained 308 of its 424 yards and scored 24 of its points in the second half and overtime. Onterio McCalebb ran for 81 yards, Mike Dyer 69 and Newton 68. Darvin Adams caught five balls for 118 yards as Auburn dug out of a deep first-half hole, the team’s biggest comeback win since erasing a 17-point deficit against Syracuse in a triple overtime 2002 win. “You are always trying to figure out who your football team is,” Chizik said. “And you never know until you get into situations where you’ve basically embarked on uncharted territory, which is where we were tonight.” It didn’t have as many twists and turns as the Outback Bowl, which was prematurely declared over on two occasions, but Saturday’s game was thrilling nonetheless. Auburn got the ball first in overtime but couldn’t get a first down. After two short runs, Newton’s pass to Adams in the

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end zone fell incomplete, setting up Byrum’s 39-yarder that split the uprights. Clemson (2-1) got to the Auburn 8 on its possession before stalling out, narrowly missing a game-winning touchdown pass when Kyle Parker, rolling out to his right, led a wide open Jaron Brown by too much in the end zone. It set up a 26-yard field goal that Catanzaro made, but the play was whistled dead for motion up front. Clemson’s players pointed as though Auburn had jumped offsides, which might have given the visiting Tigers a first down inside the 5-yard line. After a brief meeting, the officials ruled an illegal snap against Clemson’s Matt Skinner, backing the ball up 5 yards. It made a difference. Catanzaro’s second kick started left and stayed there. The way things started, overtime seemed like a longshot. Clemson proved its 2-0 start was no fluke, racing to a 17-0 lead behind Parker’s two first-half touchdown passes to Jamie Harper. Parker finished 21-for-35 for 227 yards. Auburn managed only a fraction of that in the first half, continuing an offensive funk that carried over from a scoreless second half at Mississippi State nine days ago. The Tigers had 78 yards in the first half, not getting a first down until midway through the second quarter. They managed a 35-yard field goal by Byrum as the clock expired that ended a 64-minute, 29-second scoreless streak. Newton, in particular, was off his game, going 1-for-7 for 23 yards and an interception before the break. “I said we are not changing our body language,” Chizik said. “We are not changing what we do.” Auburn looked like a different team in the third quarter, out-gaining Clemson 258-46 and scoring 21 straight points. McCalebb tip-toed the sideline for a 12-yard touchdown run, before Newton completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Adams just inside the pylon to tie the game.

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Auburn’s strong safety Zac Etheridge and Auburn’s defensive back Neiko Thorpe bring down Clemson’s running back Jamie Harper.

Auburn went big on its next drive, with Newton and Terrell Zachery hooking up on a 78-yard stop-and-go route up the sideline for a touchdown and 24-17 lead. Not to be out-done, Clemson answered with a 77-yard drive capped by Andre Ellington’s 2-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 24. Ellington had 22 carries for 140 yards. “It was a sloppy win,” Chizik said. “There were things that we are going to look back and not like. … We can’t win games consistently doing that, but we can win games if we play with a lot of heart.”

“We just want to make it exciting, that’s for sure” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who has two overtime victories in his last four games. “I couldn’t be more proud of just the way they responded.”

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10-81 16-69 17-68 2-8 2 (-5)

Byrum 39 yd field goal in overtime

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27 47-187 220 34-20-0 2-15 3-47 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 2-0 PUNTS-AVG. 7-41.3 FUMBLES-LOST 1-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 5-50 TIME OF POSSESSION 34:20 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 5 of 15 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 1 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 3-4

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AUBURN RECEIVING Adams 5-118 Zachery 1-78 Smith 1-7

PASSING Newton 7-14-2-203

Catanzaro 42 yd field goal 8:19 RUSHING 22-140 Harper 24 yd pass from Parker (Catanzaro kick) 1:14 Ellington 19-44 Byrum 35 yd field goal 0:00 Harper Brown 1-6 McNeal 1-(-1) Parker 4(-2) QUARTER McCalebb 12 yd run (Byrum kick) 8:24 PASSING Adams 8 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 3:41 Parker 20-34-0-220

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RUSHING McCalebb Dyer Newton Reed Zachary

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Bynes Named SEC Defensive Player Of The Week By ANDY BITTER or the second straight week, an Auburn player nabbed SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

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Linebacker Josh Bynes earned the award Monday, after a strong performance in Auburn's 27-24 win against Clemson on Saturday night.

Bynes leads Auburn and is ninth in the SEC with 23 tackles. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who won the award last week, got an honorable mention after finishing with seven tackles, a sack and four quarterback pressures.

The senior from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., made 11 tackles, had two tackles for a loss and made a pass deflection. The 11 tackles are the most for a Tigers player this year. It was Bynes' fifth double-digit tackle effort of his career. His most was 12 against West Virginia last year.

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Auburn kick returner Demond Washington returns a kick for Auburn.

Mixed Reviews: Auburn Up One Spot To 14th In Coaches' Poll, Down One Spot To 17th In AP Poll he voters had mixed feelings about Auburn's 27-24 win against Clemson.

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The Tigers moved up one spot in the latest USA Today coaches' poll to 14th but dropped one spot in the Associated Press poll to 17th. The Tigers are the fifth highest SEC team in the coaches' poll, behind Alabama (No. 1), Florida (8), Arkansas (11) and LSU (12) and just ahead of this week's opponent, South Carolina (15). They're sixth in the AP poll, behind Alabama (1), Florida (9), Arkansas (10), South Carolina (12) and LSU (15) Auburn moved past Iowa in the coaches' poll. The Hawkeyes dropped from 10th to 18th following a loss at Arizona. But the Tigers got passed by Arizona and Stanford in the AP poll. The Wildcats made a 10-spot jump from 24th to 14th. The Cardinal went from 16th to 19th.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 12. LSU (3-0), 801 points, LW: 12 13. Utah (3-0), 693 points, LW: 14 14. Auburn (3-0), 655 points, LW: 15 15. South Carolina (3-0), 612 points, LW: 16 16. Arizona (3-0), 610 points, LW: 18

AP poll snapshot: 15. LSU (3-0), 654 points, LW: 15 16. Stanford (3-0), 606 points, LW: 19 17. Auburn (3-0), 600 points, LW: 16 18: Iowa (2-1), 482 points, LW: 9 19: Miami (Fla.) (1-1), 472 points, LW: 17


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AUBURN 12 S CAROLINA 17

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9.25.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Tigers Find Successful Formula In Comeback Victory Over South Carolina By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — Auburn lived dangerously again Saturday night, digging itself into a deep first-half hole against a talented team from the Palmetto State for the second straight week.

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Somehow, it’s been a successful formula. The No. 17 Tigers overcame a 13-point deficit against No. 12 South Carolina, using a strong second half to pull out a 35-27 win before a near-capacity Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd. Quarterback Cam Newton accounted for 334 total yards 36

and five touchdowns, and the defense forced four turnovers in the fourth quarter to help Auburn (4-0, 2-0 SEC) escape victorious in its third straight nail-biter. “We are a special bunch,” Newton said. “I’m just blessed to be on a team like this, with guys who want to get better each week and who aren’t getting up on each other no matter the situation.” Auburn has won its past three games against Mississippi State, Clemson and South Carolina by a combined 14 points. It needed two fourth-quarter defensive stands and a missed field goal in overtime to finish September with a

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“Our guys responded,” Chizik said. “It’s not always pretty. But these guys are fighting, clawing, scratching, trying to find a way to win every week.”

perfect record for the second time under coach Gene Chizik. “Our guys responded,” Chizik said. “It’s not always pretty. But these guys are fighting, clawing, scratching, trying to find a way to win every week.” The Tigers out-scored the Gamecocks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) 21-7 in the second half, leaning heavily on Newton and a ball-hawking defense that rattled South Carolina’s quarterbacks. Auburn forced two fumbles by USC quarterback Stephen Garcia in the fourth quarter, both in Gamecocks territory. Newton threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen after the first to give the Tigers a 28-27 lead. He hit Emory Blake with a screen pass after the second for a 12-yard score and 35-27 lead with 6:23 to play.

“You just read Cam’s numbers and they speak for themselves,” Chizik said. “He was a huge reason we won the football game.” The defense took it from there. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier benched Garcia for backup Connor Shaw. He threw interceptions on his only two possessions. Linebacker Josh Bynes snagged the first one deep in Auburn territory. Cornerback Demond Washington grabbed the second in the end zone on a tipped ball in the final minute to preserve the win. Auburn had forced only two turnovers the first three games. “They’re a mystery,” Chizik said. “Sometimes you can’t get one for eight or nine quarters, then you’ll get four in a half, like we did tonight.”

All In In: Auburn’s Run to the National Ch ham ampionship

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Auburn defensive end Michael Goggans reacts after a key tackle. Auburn’s defensive game plan was to stop freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore, a former Tigers recruit who entered the day second in the league in rushing, averaging 111 yards per game. Lattimore carried the ball 14 times Saturday for 33 yards and a touchdown, averaging only 2.4 yards per carry. “We stopped the run early,” Chizik said. “That, in our opinion, was the key to them throwing the football and us having a chance at turnovers.” But Auburn still found itself in a hole early. After trailing Clemson 17-0 in the first half last week, the Tigers found themselves down 20-7 in the second quarter Saturday. Garcia was sharp early, hooking up with receiver Alshon Jeffery for touchdowns of 30 and 6 yards. Garcia threw for 158 of his 235 yards in the first half. Jeffery, the SEC’s leading receiver, had eight catches for 192 yards. But Auburn managed to stay close, going on a 12-play, 76-yard drive just before halftime that ended with a 3-yard run by Newton to cut the deficit to 20-14. The Tigers broke through against the weary South Carolina defense in the second half. Auburn ran 49 plays after the break, compared to South Carolina’s 22, dominating the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes. Newton ran for a career-high 176 yards, but he finally got some help. Freshman Mike Dyer, the game’s other highly touted freshman running back, overcame a first-half fumble to get 23 carries for 100 yards. He was the first Tigers running back to top the century mark in a game this season. Auburn finished with 334 rushing yards against a South Carolina defense that had allowed only 179 rushing yards its first three games, a mark that led the SEC and was sixth nationally. “When we got them tired, I thought we could run the football more,” Chizik said. The performance came after Chizik publicly challenged his offensive line to be more physical at the point of attack. “They got a beating from coach Chizik, to say the least,” Newton said. “They did what they were coached to do, and it showed.”

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Auburn 10th In AP Poll, 11th In Coaches' Poll uburn continued its upward mobility in the polls, moving up seven spots in the Associated Press poll to No. 10 and three spots in the USA Today coaches' poll to No. 11.

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Auburn, which beat South Carolina 35-27 Saturday, is the third highest-ranked SEC team in the AP poll, behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 7 Florida. The Tigers haven't been ranked in the AP top-10 since

All In: Auburn’s Run un to the National Championship


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the Sept. 14 poll of 2008, when they were 3-0 and the No. 10 team in the country. They are the fourth-highest SEC team in the coaches' poll, behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 7 Florida and No. 10 LSU. South Carolina dropped 12th to 19th in the AP poll and 15th to 22nd in the coaches' poll. Auburn leapfrogged a number of teams in the AP poll, jumping Arkansas, Arizona, Utah, LSU and Wisconsin. Of those teams, only the Razorbacks lost. The Tigers moved past Utah, Arkansas and Texas in the coaches' poll.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 9. Wisconsin (4-0), 989 points, LW: 10 10. LSU (4-0), ,896 points, LW: 12 11. Auburn (4-0), 828 points, LW: 14 12. Utah (4-0), 790 points, LW: 13 13. Stanford (4-0), 744 points, LW: 17

AP poll snapshot: 8. Oklahoma (4-0), 1,095 points, LW: 8 9. Stanford (4-0), 891 points, LW: 16 10. Auburn (4-0), 852 points, LW: 17 11. Wisconsin (4-0), 852 points, LW: 11 12. LSU (4-0), 804 points, LW: 15

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20 28-79 305 29-19-2 0-0 6-123 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 3-48.0 FUMBLES-LOST 2-2 PENALTIES-YARDS 5-37 TIME OF POSSESSION 28:52 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 4 of 8 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 0 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 3-4

AU 29 57-334 158 21-16-0 1-10 5-114 2-0 2-34.0 3-2 6-41 31:08 7 of 12 1 of 1 4-5


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AUBURN RECEIVING Zachery Adams Blake Lutzenkirchen Smith Fannin

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Lattimore Garcia Maddox Shaw

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PASSING Garcia 15-21-0-235 Shaw 4-8-2-70

S CAROLINA RECEIVING Jeffery Gurley Lattimore Maddox Dimarco Sanders

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Cam Newton For Heisman? Gene Chizik Thinks The QB's Numbers Grab People's Attention By ANDY BITTER am Newton's Heisman candidacy was brought up during today's teleconference with Auburn coach Gene Chizik. Surprisingly, Chizik didn't dodge the question.

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"I’m not going to act like I’m an expert on that, but I think his numbers certainly grab people’s attention," Chizik said. "In that regard, I don’t know where they’ll go with that, but I think he’s played really well." Newton has put up Heisman-worthy stats in leading the No. 10 Tigers to a 4-0 start. He leads the SEC and is 11th nationally, averaging 121.3 rushing yards per game. As a passer, the junior is second nationally in passing efficiency (182.5) and is the first quarterback in Auburn history to throw for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four games. Newton, who is second in the SEC in total offense (292.0 ypg) has accounted for 14 touchdowns this year (9 passing, 5 rushing). "He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do," Chizik said. "And the people who make that decision won’t be me. But he’s played really well."


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QB Ca Cam m Newt Newton, on, DT Mike Mi ke Bla lanc nc Earn SEC Player Play er Of Th Thee Week Honors Hon ors By AND ANDYY BI BITTER TTER

or the second time in a month, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton was named the SEC's Offensive Player of the Week.

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Newton accounted for 334 yards and five touchdowns in Auburn's 35-27 victory against South Carolina last Saturday, the second time he's been involved in five touchdowns in a game this season. Defensive tackle Mike Blanc was also honored as the Defensive Lineman of the Week. The senior had a career-high seven tackles (three solos) and a fumble recovery against South Carolina. He was part of the Tigers' defensive line that held the Gamecocks to 79 rushing yards, 119 below their season average. Newton ran for a career-high 176 yards and three touchdowns. He now has the second- and third-highest single-game rushing totals by a quarterback in school history. Newton also completed 16 of 21 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. He's the first Auburn quarterback to throw for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four games. He leads the SEC and is 11th nationally in rushing (121.3 ypg) and is atop the the conference and fourth nationally in passing efficiency (182.46). He's also second in the league and 18th nationally in total offense (292.0 ypg). Newton is the first Auburn player to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors twice in the same season since Kenny Irons in 2005.

Tebow: 65-95 passing, 1096 yards, 68%, 10 TD; 70 rushes, 368 yards, 7 TD (played Western Kentucky, Troy, Tennessee and Ole Miss, record: 4-0) Newton: 43-68 passing, 683 yards, 63%, 9 TD; 75 rushes, 485 yards, 5 TD (played Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Clemson and South Carolina, record: 4-0). Tebow had a little bit better numbers (especially passing), although he had an extra creampuff opponent in there. The point is, you put up good stats on an SEC team that looks like it's going to finish pretty high in the standings, and you've put yourself in a good position to be a contender. And now that Auburn is in the top 10 -- and if it can stay there -Newton will get plenty more national recognition than before. Of course, as Ryan Mallett learned, that also means performing your best when the nation is watching. So Newton will undoubtedly need big games against Arkansas, LSU, Georgia and Alabama to warrant serious consideration, which is asking a lot.

It's never too early to begin the Heisman hype. And just for comparison's sake, here's how Newton stacks up through four games against Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy 2007 season:

Is this premature? Probably. Then again, it's Louisiana-Monroe week. Got to write about something.

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AUBURN LOUISIANA-MONROE

52 3

10.2.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Blowout Blowo ut Off Louisiana-Monrooe Gives Tiger ers' s' Fans Fans,, Starters A Bre Break ak Tigers take care of business without drama By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — After giving its fans heart palpitations for three straight weeks, Auburn allowed them to rest easy Saturday.

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through all four quarters,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “When we had time to make plays, we made the plays.”

The No. 10 Tigers didn’t need a huge comeback, fourth-quarter defensive stand or a fortuitous field-goal miss in an easy 52-3 win against Louisiana-Monroe at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Mike Dyer’s 3-yard touchdown run and Quindarius Carr’s 16-yard touchdown catch gave Auburn a 31-3 halftime lead.

“It was a very bizarre feeling, very bizarre,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who’s grown accustomed to nail-biters. “But I will take it every time.” Auburn (5-0) got everything it wanted out of its final tune-up before getting to the heart of the SEC schedule, building an early lead and getting the backups plenty of work.

Newton completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen at the 6:09 mark of the third quarter before exiting. The dual-threat quarterback showed off only half his skills. Newton, whose 121.3-yard rushing average led the SEC entering the day, didn’t have a designed run all afternoon, finishing with -11 yards rushing after being sacked once. “There’s no reason to take hits when he doesn’t need to,” center Ryan Pugh said.

Sixty-eight players got in the game for the Tigers, giving the starters down time. Quarterback Cam Newton threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns in 2 1/2 quarters. Defensive end Antoine Carter didn’t play a snap.

“I think it just speaks for itself that I didn’t need to run the ball,” Newton said. “A couple of guys picked up the torch and ran with it.”

The second team took over midway through the third quarter, and the third team finished off the fourth, an important note as Auburn heads into what Chizik called a “brutal” four-game stretch at Kentucky, home against Arkansas and LSU and on the road at Mississippi.

Senior tailback Mario Fannin, who has been slowed by a shoulder injury and a fumbling problem, got the most work, running for 89 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He got 10 carries, the first time he has reached double digits since his sophomore year.

“There are guys who we felt like are bumped and bruised up,” Chizik said. “We have to watch out. It is a long road here before we get any week off. We are just trying to be very prudent on how we proceed.”

“I think his confidence is getting back up there,” Chizik said.

The Tigers produced 505 yards of offense, avoiding the slow start that led to 17- and 13-points deficits against Clemson and South Carolina. Onterio McCalebb raced around the edge for a 50-yard touchdown on the game’s second play, scoring after only 32 seconds had elapsed. Auburn went up 14-0 on its next drive when Newton found a wide-open Emory Blake for a 94-yard touchdown that was the longest play from scrimmage in school history. “We never want to let a team get hope and string it out 46

Nine players had at least one carry and nine more had at least one reception. Backup quarterbacks Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley made an appearance, although Trotter came out after being shaken up at the end of an 18-yard touchdown run. Defensively, Auburn allowed 232 passing yards but not much else. ULM quarterback Kolton Browning went 25-for-33 by completing quick, short passes, but the Tigers didn’t give up anything big and limited the Warhawks (1-3) to 38 rushing yards on 33 carries.

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Auburn strong safety Zac Etheridge intercepts a pass on a fake field goal attempt.

AP Images

“We really wanted to come in and make a statement,” cornerback T’Sharvan Bell said. “No matter what the score was, we just wanted to play hard and do a good job. They only got three. We’re happy with that.” Auburn forced four turnovers for the second straight week. Safety Zac Etheridge intercepted a pass on a fake field goal, and the reserves recovered three fumbles in the second half. The Tigers are 5-0 for the second straight season, although last year’s team went into an October nose dive, losing three straight.

Said Chizik: “Our best game is still lurking out there.”

“This year’s team is very special and is very capable of taking that extra step rather than taking a step back,” Newton said.

“This year’s team is very special and is very capable of taking that extra step rather than taking a step back,” Newton said.

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DT Nick Fairley Earns SEC Defensive Lineman Of The Week Honors For The Second Time This Year By ANDY BITTER nother week, another award for Auburn. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Louisiana-Monroe.

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It's the second time Fairley has won an SEC award. He won SEC Defensive Player of the Week after Auburn's victory against Mississippi State. The Tigers have been honored by the SEC on offense or defense six times in five weeks (Cam Newton twice, Fairley twice and Josh Bynes and Mike Blanc once each). Fairley, a junior, dominated the Warhawks, despite playing barely any snaps in the second half. He had four tackles, getting three tackles for a loss of 16 yards. One was a sack of eight yards. Fairley leads the SEC in sacks (5) and tackles for loss (11.5). He is tied for sixth nationally in sacks and tied for third in TFLs. Asked yesterday if he had taken his game to another level this year, Fairley said, "A little bit. I'm not saying I've gotten all the attention. The guys around me have helped me, for real. If it weren't for Antoine Carter a couple of times, the quarterback would have been stepping out of the pocket. ... "Working together as a unit. A unit thing. That's basically helping me out, allowing me to make plays."

Auburn Up To No. 8 In AP, Coaches' Polls uburn came in at No. 8 in both major polls this week. The Tigers moved up two spots in the latest Associated Press poll to No. 8, its highest ranking since November of 2006. They moved up three spots in the coaches' poll.

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3. Oregon (5-0), 1,300 points, LW: 4 4. Boise State (4-0), 1,276 points, LW: 3 5. TCU (5-0), 1,187 points, LW: 5 6. Nebraska (4-0), 1,176 points, LW: 6 7. Oklahoma (5-0), 1,132 points, LW: 8 8. Auburn (5-0) 988 points, LW: 11 9. LSU (5-0), 930 points, LW: 10 10. Utah (4-0), 868 points, LW: 12

AP poll snapshot: The Tigers (5-0) jumped Florida and Stanford in the AP rankings after beating Louisiana-Monroe 52-3 on Saturday. They hopped Florida, Wisconsin and LSU in the coaches' poll. Auburn is the second highest ranked SEC team after No. 1 Alabama. The Tigers are one of six SEC teams in the AP poll, joining Arkansas (No. 11), LSU (No. 12), Florida (No. 14) and South Carolina (No. 19).

Coaches’ poll snapshot: 1. Alabama (5-0), 1,449 points, LW: 1 --> 57 first-place votes 2. Ohio State (5-0), 1,377 points, LW: 2 --> 1 first-place vote

1. Alabama (5-0), 1,497 points, LW: 1 --> 58 first-place votes 2. Ohio State (5-0), 1,401 points, LW: 2 --> 1 first-place vote 3. Oregon (5-0), 1,379 points, LW: 4 4. Boise State (4-0), 1,341 points, LW: 3 --> 1 first-place vote 5. TCU (5-0), 1,250 points, LW: 5 6. Oklahoma (5-0), 1,183 points, LW: 8 7. Nebraska (4-0), 1,1,72 points, LW: 6 8. Auburn (5-0), 1,045 points, LW: 10 9. Arizona (4-0), 898 points, LW: 14 10. Utah (4-0), 860 points, LW: 13


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FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

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22 33-233 272 24-17-1 3-26 2-33

1-0 PUNTS-AVG. 4-38.0 FUMBLES-LOST 4-3 PENALTIES-YARDS 7-55 TIME OF POSSESSION 36:52 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 6 of 15 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 3 RED-ZONE SCORED-CHANCES 1-1 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS

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RECEIVING Zachery Lutzenkirchen Blake Adams Carr Benton Winter Fannin Kitchens

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AUBURN KENTUCKY

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Tigers Keep Find Finding ing Wa Ways ys To Win Win,, Rem Rema ain Undefeated With Vic Victtory Ove Over Kentuc tucky ky Byrum’s 24-yard field goal lifts Tigers to 6-0 By ANDY BITTER

EXINGTON, Ky. — After Wes Byrum’s most famous field goal, the Auburn kicker broke out the Gator chomp, gleefully mimicking Florida’s signature clap as he ran down the field in Gainesville as a freshman three years ago.

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After making a 24-yarder to lift the No. 8 Tigers to a crazy 37-34 win against Kentucky on Saturday night, the senior had a more subdued reaction. Byrum’s first walk-off winner in three years helped Auburn (6-0, 3-0 SEC) survive its fourth nail-biter, finally putting away a scrappy Kentucky team that trailed by 17 points on two occasions. “We are finding interesting ways to end the games, but we are 6-0 and that is all that matters,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “I am so proud of our football team finding different ways to win the game at the end.” Byrum lined up for a 24-yarder, not much more than an extra point, with three seconds on the clock and drilled it dead center. Auburn players poured onto the field for a somewhat restrained celebration, considering the situation. “I actually thought the offense was going to punch it in there and score, and it was going to be the end of it,” Byrum said. “The defensive guys came up to me and I told them I was going to knock this through for them because they had been fighting the whole game.” Tigers quarterback Cam Newton turned in another brilliant performance, accounting for 408 yards. He got 198 of them on the ground and ran for four touchdowns, all in the first half. But his work on Auburn’s 19-play, 86-yard drive — a clock killer that spanned 7 minutes, 22 seconds and set up Byrum’s chip shot — was the most impressive part. It almost never happened. After Kentucky tied the game at 34, the Tigers narrowly averted disaster twice, recovering Demond Washington’s fumble on a kick return at their 7 52

and watching as a Terrell Zachery fumble on a reverse took a fortuitous bounce out of bounds. When the ball was in Newton’s hands, Auburn didn’t have to worry. The junior methodically guided the drive, running 10 times for 48 yards and helping Auburn convert three third downs. He hit Darvin Adams on a crossing route once and got to the markers with his legs on two other occasions. “He’s a competitor,” Chizik said. “When the game’s on the line, he wants the ball in his hands.” Newton’s last third-down conversion run, a 4-yard gain when the Tigers needed two, put the ball at the Kentucky 11. After a run and a kneel down positioned the ball in the middle of the field, Byrum drilled the game-winner. “We feel very confident that when we put the ball in a reasonable range, he’s going to hit it,” Chizik said. It was his Byrum’s fifth career game-winning field goal and the 51st of career, breaking the school record of 50 held by John Vaughn. “It’s just a really cool thing,” Byrum said. “It’s humbling to be up there with the names of the people that are with me.” The way things started, it didn’t seem early like the game would even be close. Auburn stormed to a 31-14 lead in the second quarter, mostly thanks to Newton. He led four drives that spanned 78 yards or longer, finishing each with a touchdown. Newton scored on runs of 16, 8, 5 and 3 yards in the first half, tying Phil Gargis’ single-game quarterback record for rushing touchdowns set against Florida State in 1976. Kentucky (3-3, 0-3) scored the next 17 points, however. Craig McIntosh made a 29-yard field goal as the halftime clock expired. Quarterback Mike Hartline and do-it-all receiver Randall Cobb took over from there, picking up the slack with

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running back Derrick Locke sidelined by a shoulder stinger. Hartline completed 23 of 28 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown, a 16-yarder to Cobb on a slant pattern that cut the lead to 31-24. Cobb, who dabbled at receiver and quarterback, gave the Tigers fits with his mobility, just like last season’s upset at Jordan-Hare. The senior had ran for 47 yards, caught seven

Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams grabs one of his five catches for 101 yards in the game.

passes for 68 yards and completed his only pass for a 6-yard touchdown to tight end Jordan Aumiller. He waltzed in for a 1-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation in the third quarter to tie things at 31. “It is obviously not where we want to be defensively,” Chizik said. “But at the end of the day, I think the defense stepped up and made some plays when they needed to.”


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PASSING Newton 13-21-1-210

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 2ND QUARTER AU AU UK AU UK

Newton 5 yd run (Byrum kick) Byrum 38 yd field goal Aumiller 6 yd pass from Cobb (McIntosh kick) Newton 3 yd run (Byrum kick) McIntosh 29 yd field goal

3RD QUARTER UK UK

Cobb 16 yd pass from Hartline (McIntosh kick) Cobb 1 yd run (McIntosh kick)

10:01 7:12 4:52 1:06 0:00

RUSHING Cobb Russell Locke Sanders Hartline

11-47 9-32 5-31 4-2 1-(-2)

PASSING 8:18 Hartline 23-28-0-220 1-1-0-6 4:03 Cobb Lexington Herald Leader

4TH QUARTER AU UK AU

Byrum 19 yd field goal McIntosh 35 yd field goal Byrum 24 yd field goal

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

AU

27 52-311 210 21-13-1 0-0 4-66 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 2-34.0 FUMBLES-LOST 4-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 8-87 TIME OF POSSESSION 31:46 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 5 of 9 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 0 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 6-6

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AUBURN

14:17 7:31 0:00

UK 24 30-110 226 29-24-0 0-0 7-182 1--2 3-44.3 2-1 2-20 28:14 3 of 8 1 of 1 6-6

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

KENTUCKY

RECEIVING Cobb King Locke Russell Matthews Aumiller

7-68 5-49 5-47 2-19 2-18 2-13

Roark

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Kicker Wes Byrum Wins Weekly SEC Award By ANDY BITTER

W

es Byrum's fifth career game-winning field goal helped him win SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Byrum, a senior, made a 24-yard field goal as time expired to lift Auburn to a 37-34 victory at Kentucky last Saturday. He also had field goals of 38 and 19 yards. Byrum has game-winning field goals in three of Auburn's last seven games (Northwestern in the Outback Bowl and Clemson). It was his second game-winner as time expired. His first, famously, came against Florida in 2007.

Byrum's 51 field goals are first on Auburn's all-time list, breaking the mark of 50 set by John Vaughn (2003-06). It is the seventh time this season an Auburn player has received an SEC weekly award. Here are the others: QB Cam Newton: Offensive POTW against Arkansas State, South Carolina DT Nick Fairley: Defensive POTW against Mississippi State, D-line POTW against Louisiana-Monroe LB Josh Bynes: Defensive POTW against Clemson DT Mike Blanc: D-line POTW against South Carolina

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All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run to the National Championship


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Auburn kicker Wes Byrum’s fifth career game-winning field goal and the 51st of his career, breaking the school record.

AP poll snapshot:

New Polls Out he polls are out. Auburn is seventh in both of them, up one spot from last week.

T

Here's a glance at each:

USA Today coaches' poll snapshot:

1. Ohio State (34), 6-0, 1,453 points, LW: 2 2. Oregon (15), 6-0, 1,427 points, LW: 3 3. Boise State (8), 5-0, ,1,395 points, LW: 4 4. TCU (1), 6--0, 1,304 points, LW: 5 5. Nebraska, 5-0, 1,246 points, LW: 6 6. Oklahoma (2) 5-0, 1,225 points, LW: 7 7. Auburn, 6-0, 1,104 points, LW: 8 8. Alabama, 5-1, ,1,021 points, LW: 1 9. LSU, 6-0, 999 points, LW: 12

1. Ohio State (49), 6-0, 1,455 points, LW: 2 2. Oregon (6), 1,388 points, LW: 3 3. Boise State (1), 5-0, 1,335 points, LW: 4 4. Nebraska (2), 5-0 1,272 points, LW: 6 5. TCU (1), 6-0, 1,213 points, LW: 5 6. Oklahoma, 5-0, 1193 points, LW: 7 7. Auburn, 6-0, 1,060 points, LW: 8 8. Alabama, 5-1, 1,029 points, LW: 1 All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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AUBURN 12 ARKANSAS 7

AP RANK

65 43

10.16.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Tigers 'Refu 'Refusse To Lose' In 65-4 5-433 Win Ov Over er Arkansas Razorbac Raz backs ks Force 3 straight 4th-quarter turnovers to break open tight game By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — Injured, exhausted and exposed, the Auburn defense looked overmatched Saturday, giving up 43 points and 566 yards to an impressive Arkansas offense.

A

hard hit near the goal line from defensive tackle Nick Fairley. “To me, it’s just a normal hit I put on any quarterback,” Fairley said. “It just so happened he landed awkward on something.”

Somehow, that defensive group was also the difference in the game.

Mallett’s backup didn’t miss a beat, however. Sophomore Tyler Wilson, who got plenty of reps in the spring when Mallett had a foot injury, threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns as a replacement, shredding an Auburn defense ranked 91st nationally against the pass.

The No. 7 Tigers forced turnovers on three straight fourth-quarter possessions, each leading to a touchdown to turn a tightly contested track meet into a runaway 65-43 win against No. 12 Arkansas before a sellout Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd. “I sound like a broken record, but we refuse to lose,” Auburn quarterback Cam Newton said. “The closer the game gets, the closer the team gets.” It is the most points the Tigers (7-0, 4-0 SEC) have scored in an SEC game, topping the 63 they produced in a win against Florida in 1970. The Tigers, who should move up in the national polls following losses by Nebraska and Ohio State, remain one of two undefeated teams in the SEC. The other is another imperfect unbeaten: LSU, which comes to Jordan-Hare Stadium next Saturday with the Western Division lead at stake. “We know we didn’t play well all night,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “For all of the things that we didn’t do well as a team, we beat an extremely good football team tonight. That’s the bottom line.” The game was billed as a match up between potential Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. Newton didn’t disappoint, adding to his SEC rushing lead by carrying it 25 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns. He added 140 passing yards and another score. His Arkansas counterpart, however, didn’t make it through the second quarter. Ryan Mallett, the SEC passing leader, left in the second quarter with a concussion after taking a

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Tigers defensive coordinator Ted Roof has experienced something similar in the past. “One year, we knocked the guy at Clemson out and in comes a guy named Woody Dantzler,” the former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator said. “So, yeah, I’ve had experience with backup quarterbacks.” The last of Wilson’s touchdown tosses, a zipped 23-yarder to Greg Childs on a slant pattern one minute into the fourth quarter, gave Arkansas (4-2, 1-2 SEC) a 43-37 lead. Auburn answered with a 68-yard drive, capped by a Newton-to-Emory Blake touchdown pass that made it 44-43 Auburn. That’s when the defense arrived. Linebacker Craig Stevens and defensive tackle Mike Blanc chased down running back Broderick Green on a run near the Auburn sideline. Just before Green hit the ground, the ball squirted loose. Safety Zac Etheridge picked it up and high-stepped 47 yards for a touchdown upheld after a review of the instant replay. The Tigers’ first defensive touchdown this year made it 51-43. “I felt like once we got the fumble, that just turned the momentum over and strengthened our defense, gave us a little bit of confidence out there,” Stevens said. “You know, we were able to turn one turnover into two, two into three. I just felt like that helped get the ball rolling for us.”

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run un to the National Championship


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Wilson, who was sharp his first two quarters, threw interceptions to linebacker Josh Bynes on each of Arkansas’ next two possessions. The first set up a 3-yard touchdown plunge by Newton, the second a 38-yard run by tailback Mike Dyer.

“We just felt like if we kept playing, kept playing and just keep chopping wood, something eventually has to happen good.” Combined, the SEC’s top two offenses generated 108 points — the most in a regulation SEC game — and 1,033 yards.

On an otherwise forgettable defensive day, the turnovers made everything all right.

The wild game prompted a similar question to many players: Have you ever played in a game quite like this?

“We try not to let how we play be based on the circumstances around us,” Chizik said. “You can be playing very poorly, but if you let that beat you twice then you are going to have a problem. …

Newton flipped around the query: “The question is, have y’all ever seen a game like that?”

“The question is, have y’all ever seen a game like that?” - Cam Newton


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1ST QUARTER AR AU

Stumon 7 yd pass from Mallett Newton 5 yd run (Byrum kick)

7:54 5:30

2ND QUARTER AU AR AU AU AR AU

Byrum 43 yd field goal Green 1 yd run (Hocker kick) Fannin 4 yd run (Byrum kick) McCalebb 13 yd run (Byrum kick) Childs 34 yd pass from Wilson (Hocker kick) Byrum 26 yd field goal

14:48 9:43 6:28 4:03 1:06 0:00

3RD QUARTER AU AR AU AR

Byrum 28 yd field goal 10:44 Wingo Jr. 37 yd pass from Wilson (Hocker kick) 5:40 Newton 1 yd run (Byrum kick) 4:10 Adams 24 yd pass from Wilson (Hocker kick) 3:20

4TH QUARTER AR AU AU AU AU

Childs 23 yd pass from Wilson Blake 15 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Etheridge 47 yd fumble recovery (Byrum kick) Newton 3 yd run (Byrum kick) Dyer 38 yd run (Byrum kick)

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN YARDS KICKOFF RETURN YARDS

AR

30 28-138 428 49-35-2 0-0 10-179 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 3-31.0 FUMBLES-LOST 1-1 PENALTIES-YARDS 6-70 TIME OF POSSESSION 32:33 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 4 of 11 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 2 of 3 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 2-2

AU 25 49-330 140 15-10-0 2-2 5-221 2-33 2-39.5 0-0 8-68 27:27 2 of 7 0 of 1 9-9

14:09 11:44 9:44 8:31 6:36


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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Newton Fannin Dyer McCalebb

25-188 14-60 6-53 4-29

PASSING Newton 10-14-0-140 Burns 0-1-0-0

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AUBURN RECEIVING Fannin Adams Burns Blake Zachary

3-36 2-34 2-33 2-28 1-9

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Davis Green Wingo Jr. Adams Wilson

14-91 8-28 2-17 1-12 3 (-10)

PASSING Wilson 25-34-2-332 Mallett 10-15-0-96

ARKANSAS RECEIVING Childs Adams Wingo Jr. Wright Williams Davis Hamilton Stumon Ray

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

9-164 7-87 4-53 4-51 4-20 3-22 2-18 1-7 1-6

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QB Cam Newton, DT Nick Fairley Nab SEC Honors, Keep Auburn's Yearlong Streak Alive By ANDY BITTER uburn's streak continues. Quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley earned SEC player of the week honors for their performances in a 65-43 win against Arkansas.

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The Tigers have had at least one player honored by the league every week this year. Newton earned co-Offensive Player of the Week honors with Kentucky's Mike Hartline. Newton ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns and added 140 passing yards and another score. Newton became the first payer in school history to run for 170 or more yards in three straight SEC games and only the second player to rush for 170 or more yards four times in the same season. Bo Jackson who did it in 1985, his Heisman Trophy year. It's the third time Newton has earned the award. He got it after Auburn's wins against Arkansas State and South Carolina. Fairley was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after making a career-high eight tackles, five of which were solo stops. He had one tackle for a loss and two quarterback hurries, one of which ended in a hard hit that knocked Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett out of the game. Fairley, who has won two previous SEC awards earlier this year against Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe, leads the SEC in tackles for a loss with 13.5 and is tied for second in sacks with five.


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Auburn Cracks Top 5 In Polls, First Time Since 2006 oth polls are out and the Auburn Tigers are back in the top-five for the first time in four years.

B

Auburn, which beat Arkansas 65-43 Saturday, moved up two spots, coming in fifth in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches' polls. It's the highest the Tigers have been in the either poll since being No. 5 in both rankings in the Nov. 5 poll of 2006. Auburn (7-0, 4-0 SEC) earned one first-place vote in the coaches' poll, something that hasn't happened since getting one vote Oct. 1 in 2006.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (42) 6-0, 1,452 points, LW; 2 2. Boise State (11), 6-0 ,1,385 points, LW: 3 3. Oklahoma (4), 6-0, 1,334 points, LW: 6 4. TCU (1), 7-0, 1,300 points, LW: 5 5. Auburn (1), 7-0, 1,238 points, LW: 7 6. LSU, 7-0, 1,132 points, LW: 9 7. Alabama, 6-1, 1,085 points, LW: 8 8. Michigan State, 7-0, 1,037 points, LW: 11 9. Utah, 6-0, 1,004 points, LW: 10 10. Ohio State, 6-1, 936, LW: 1

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (38), 6-0, 1,471 points, LW: 2 2. Boise State (15), 6-0, 1,433 points, LW: 3 3. Oklahoma (3), 6-0, 1,355 points, LW: 6 4. TCU (3), 6-0, 1,340 points, LW: 4 5. Auburn, 7-0,, 1,279 points, LW: 7 6. LSU, 6-0, 1,132 points, LW: 9 7. Alabama, 6-1, 1,121 points, LW: 8 8. Michigan State, 7-0, 1,062 points, LW: 13 9. Utah, 6-0, 1,019 points, LW: 11 10. Wisconsin, 6-1, 920 points, LW: 18

All In:: Au Aubu burn rn’’s Run to th the Na ati tion onal al Cham ampion pionsh ship ip

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Auburn Football: Cam Newton Goes Viral As Leading Heisman Trophy Candidate Humorous video another example of buzz about QB By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — The TMZ cameras caught Peter Berg at an interesting moment. (www.camnewtonheisman.com)

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The “Friday Night Lights” director, put delicately, appeared to be enjoying some night life in Hollywood recently when the paparazzi caught him on the sidewalk. The subject turned to college football, and Berg, colorfully and somewhat slurred, encouraged the group to keep an eye on Auburn’s quarterback. “Right now, I watch a dude, Cal What’s-His-Name.” he said emphatically and erroneously, adding to the video’s viral charm. Yes, it seems like every college football fan is talking about Auburn quarterback Cal … er … Cam Newton these days. And why not? Multiple publications have declared him the winner of the halfway Heisman, a fictional midseason pole position for the sport’s highest honor. Newton’s numbers suggest it isn’t a pipe dream that he could be the first Auburn player to take home that hardware since Bo Jackson in 1985. In his first year with Auburn, Newton is already challenging school and SEC records. He leads the league in rushing with 862 yards, the only player other than Jackson in school history to rush for at least 170 yards in four games. Newton is on pace to shatter the SEC’s single-season quarterback rushing record of 1,006 yards, set in 1963 by Auburn’s Jimmy Sidle, who was also the last quarterback to lead the league in rushing. But Newton is a passer too. He is second in the SEC in pass efficiency and has accounted for 25 total touchdowns (13 passing, 12 rushing), which, with five regular-season games yet to play, is one shy of Pat Sullivan’s school record. “No. 2 is one spectacular football player, and I am not one to go out on a limb, but everybody in the world sees it,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “It’s not like I’m telling anybody anything new.”

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No, but the hype is just starting to catch up to his production. Although Newton has sidestepped repeated questions about the Heisman — “You can throw that out the window,” he said recently — Auburn has subtly made a push for its star quarterback. Newton participated in a first-of-its-kind Monday teleconference this week geared toward national media, repeating his redemption story on a broader platform. ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports posted Internet articles that chronicled Newton’s untimely departure from Florida, re-branding at rural Blinn (Texas) Community College and reemergence at Auburn. Auburn fans have joined in on the Newton push. Tri-colored signs have appeared at games with the Obama-like phrase “Yes We Cam” affixed to Newton’s smiling mugshot. A fake Twitter account — @CameronNewton — touting hyperbolic “facts” about the quarterback has risen in popularity, mirroring the Chuck Norris Internet meme. (Did you know as a child, Superman was asked who he wanted to be when he grows up … and he said “Cameron Newton”?) Mainstream media aren’t immune to putting Newton in a different class. ESPN’s Joe Schad tweeted during the Arkansas game that the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Newton “looks like the kid parents complain is too big to be the same age.” Even coaches are flummoxed at how to stop him. LSU’s Les Miles suggested invisible 12th defenders. “If I could have a spy no one could see, a guy on the field that didn’t count, that would be a great answer,” he said. Newton has evoked all sorts of comparisons, from Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor to former Texas standout Vince Young to his one-time mentor at Florida, Tim Tebow. It’s the final one Newton likes the most. Like Tebow, Newton has a palpable connection with the crowd. After beating Arkansas, Newton finished a TV interview and

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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bounded toward the sideline and the remaining Jordan-Hare Stadium faithful, waving a white towel while standing on the brick wall surrounding the field. “That’s just something that you give and you get,” Newton said. “You feed the crowd, and the crowd gives you this type of energy that gives you the ability to feel like you can do anything.” So far, it seems like he can.

“No. 2 is one spectacular football player, and I am not one to go out on a limb, but everybody in the world sees it,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “It’s not like I’m telling anybody anything new.”

All In: Auburn’s Run to th the e National Ch ham ampionship

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AUBURN 6 LSU 5

AP RANK

24 17

10.23.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Earni arning ng Their Stri Stripes pes Tigers from the Plains prevail over LSU in battle of unbeatens for first place in SEC West By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — Cam Newton’s final run Saturday left him exhausted, sprawled on his back for a moment as he stared at the darkening sky.

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The 10-yard scamper sealed No. 4 Auburn’s 24-17 win against previously unbeaten No. 6 LSU, establishing the SEC’s indisputable frontrunner. After the final seconds ticked off, Auburn’s quarterback found a second wind, sprinting toward the visitor’s sideline and leaping a 3-foot guard rail to celebrate with the still-cheering Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd. “I think the adrenaline was still pumping,” Newton said with a smile. Big wins will do that for you. Auburn (8-0, 5-0 SEC) emerged with a one-game lead on the pack in the highly competitive SEC West with three conference games remaining. Borrowing a phrase from Auburn coach Gene Chizik, has this team gone from good to great? “I don’t know that you can make that claim until the end of the year to figure out exactly where you land,” Chizik said. “I think we’ve gone from good to better.” Auburn did it with its bread and butter, grinding out 440 rushing yards, the fifth-most in school history and its most against an SEC foe. Considering the opponent, the achievement was even more impressive. LSU(7-1, 4-1 SEC) entered the game with the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, allowing 83.6 yards per game. The Bengal Tigers had allowed 402 rushing yards to their first four SEC opponents combined this year.

86 passing yards. “Plain and simple, he’s the best quarterback in the country,” LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard said. Newton broke two records in the process: the SEC mark for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback (1,077) and Pat Sullivan’s 40-year-old school record for touchdowns accounted for (27) in a season. But Newton wasn’t alone in punishing LSU’s formidable front. Mike Dyer ran for 100 yards, the second time he has reached the century mark in his career. Despite a balky right knee, he gave Auburn an edge inside, churning his legs as he and his line moved the pile 5 yards at the end of a play. “I heard the crowd,” Dyer said. “I felt the guys behind me just pushing it. I felt like we were all in it together.” Speedster Onterio McCalebb wasn’t left out, sprinting free up the left sideline on a sweep play for a 70-yard touchdown that broke a 17-all tie with 5:05 to play. “Once I got around the corner, I wasn’t going to let anybody catch me,” McCalebb said. Auburn out-gained LSU 526-243 but couldn’t put the game away. After going into halftime tied at 10, Newton scored on a 49-yard run, weaving through the LSU defense before powering his way over All-American cornerback Patrick Patterson for the touchdown. “There’s a want in every football player to take someone on, and that’s what we did,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Sometimes, when that person is 250 pounds, it can be a little much.” It was a Heisman-worthy highlight.

“I think it’s a lot of hard work paying off,” Auburn center Ryan Pugh said. “That defense is as good as you’ll play every year. Those guys are athletic. They’ve got NFL talent all over the field.” Newton, the Heisman Trophy favorite — yes, it’s safe to say it at this point — did most of the work, running 28 times for a career-high 217 yards and two touchdowns. He added

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“It’s just a play that is in my job description to make,” Newton said. LSU hung around, mostly because of its special teams. Punter Derek Helton pinned Auburn inside its 2-yard line on three occasions, twice in the third quarter.

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run to the National Championship


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“I don’t know what makes team chemistry,” Chizik said. “I have no clue. I only know that in my heart of hearts that we have it.”

But LSU couldn’t do anything with the field position. Juggling between quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee, the Bengal Tigers managed only 29 yards of offense in the third, getting nothing out of drives that started at its own 44, 44 and 47-yard line. “We were just fighting, clawing and scrapped our way to playing well today,” Chizik said of the defense. Miles, ever the gambler, took it out of his quarterback’s hands in the fourth quarter. He called for a lateral to running back Spencer Ware, who lobbed a 39-yard pass to Rueben Randle after the Auburn defense bit. The touchdown tied the game at 17 with 12:16 to play.

But Auburn kept grinding out yards on the ground. After failing to convert a fourth down in LSU territory, Auburn got the ball back at its own 10. Three plays later, McCalebb was racing down the sideline for the winning touchdown, the latest in a season’s worth of games decided in the fourth quarter. “I don’t know what makes team chemistry,” Chizik said. “I have no clue. I only know that in my heart of hearts that we have it.”

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National al Championship

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Newton 1 yd run (Byrum kick) Jasper 48 yd field goal

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Randale 39 yd pass from Ware (Jasper kick) McCalebb 70 yd run (Byrum kick)

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS STATISTICS

LSU

AU

FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS

18 37-115

25 52-440

PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

128 30-16-1 2-18 5-120 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 6-50.0 FUMBLES-LOST 2-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 4-24 TIME OF POSSESSION 27:47 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 6 of 15 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 1 RED-ZONE SCORED-CHANCES 1-1

86 16-10-0 0-0 3-67 1-33 3-37.3 1-1 7-45 32:13 6 of 12 0 of 1 1-2

RUSHING Newton Dyer McCalebb Fannin

28-217 15-100 4-84 3-29

AUBURN RECEIVING Adams 3-33 Zachery 3-27 McCalebb 1-17 Lutzenkirchen 1-6

PASSING Newton 10-16-0-86

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Jefferson Ridley Shepard Ware Murphy Ford Lee

16-74 12-37 1-9 1-2 2-2 2-1 3- (-10)

LSU PASSING Lee 8-14-0-43 Jefferson 7-14-1-46 RECEIVING Randle Shepard Toliver Peterson Murphy

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

6-73 5-20 3-25 1-7 1-3

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Auburn running back Mario Fannin runs for daylight.


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Auburn Ranked No. 3 In Both Polls, Tigers No. 1 In BCS Rankings uburn moved to No. 1 in the new BCS rankings. That's what some ESPN projections say could happen.

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In the meantime, the Tigers continued to climb the polls after their 24-17 win against No. 6 LSU. Auburn is ranked third in the USA Today coaches' poll and the Associated Press poll, up two spots. It jumped Oklahoma, which lost to Missouri, and TCU, which beat Air Force. The Tigers earned three first-place votes in both polls. It's the highest Auburn has been ranked since it was No. 2 in October of 2006.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (50), 7-0, 1,463 points, LW: 1 2. Boise State (5), 6-0 1,383 points, LW: 2 3. Auburn (3), 8-0, 1,350 points, LW: 5 4. TCU (1), 8-0, 1,308 points, LW: 4 5. Michigan State, 8-0, 1,175 points, LW: 8 6. Alabama, 7-1, 1,152 points, LW: 7 7. Utah, 7-0, 1,091 points, LW: 9 8. Missouri, 7-0, 1,060 points, LW: 16 9. Wisconsin, 7-1, 973 points, LW: 11 10. Ohio State, 7-1, 966 points, LW: 10

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (44), 7-0, 1,480 points, LW: 1 2. Boise State (11), 6-0 1,419 points, LW: 2 3. Auburn (3), 8-0, 1,376 points, LW: 5 4. TCU (2), 8-0, 1,354 points, LW: 4 5. Michigan State, 8-0, 1,175 points, LW: 8 6. Alabama, 7-1, 1,173 points, LW: 7 7. Missouri, 7-0, 1,121 points, LW: 19 8. Utah, 7-0, 1,098 points, LW: 9 9. Wisconsin, 7-1, 1,022 points, LW: 10 10. Ohio State, 7-1, 931 points, LW: 11


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Newton, Fai Newton, Fairley rley Honored By SECC For Fou SE Fourth rth Ti Time me n what's becoming a weekly tradition, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley were both honored by the SEC on Monday.

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Newton was named Offensive Player of the Week, while Fairley was tabbed Defensive Lineman of the Week. It's the fourth time each has been honored this year. Newton cemented his Heisman Trophy contender status with a career-best 217 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Auburn's 24-17 win against No. 6 LSU. He also threw for 86 yards. The junior led a rushing attack that ran for a school record 440 yards. LSU, the league's former top-ranked rushing defense, was allowing 83.6 yards per game on the ground. Newton broke the SEC's single-season rushing record by a quarterback and now has 1,077 yards this year. Newton became the fourth Auburn player to earn four SEC Offensive Player of the Week awards in the same season. Bo Jackson was the first to do it in 1985, while Brent Fullwood accomplished the feat the next season. Carnell Williams won four awards in 2003. Fairley added to his impressive totals with six tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. The latter two were both career highs. Fairley leads the SEC in tackles for a loss (17) and is second in sacks (7) to Georgia's Justin Houston. Auburn has had at least one SEC award winner every week this season.

Auburn Ranked No. 1 In Latest BCS Rankings uburn’s meteoric rise has taken it to the top of the Bowl Championship Series rankings for the first time in school history.

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The Tigers (8-0, 5-0 SEC) vaulted three teams to get to the top spot in the second week of the BCS rankings, jumping Oklahoma, Oregon and Boise State after their 24-17 win against previously No. 6 LSU on Saturday. Auburn had never been higher than second in the 13-year history of the BCS, which takes into account two polls and an average of four different computer rankings to determine the top teams in college football. The top two at the end of the year play for the national championship. “It means a lot, especially for the guys that have been here for the five-win season and everything,” linebacker Craig Stevens said. “But coach always says you can’t focus on that, because once you start to do that you start to backslide, because you begin to think you’re better than what you really are.”


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Auburn was first, followed by Oregon, Boise State, TCU and against teams in the BCS Top 25 — No. 12 LSU, No. 19 Arkansas, No. 20 South Carolina and No. 21 Mississippi Michigan State. State. Missouri, Alabama, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin round Auburn rode the strength of the computers to the top spot, out the top 10. finishing first in three of the six rankings, second in two and Tigers head coach Gene Chizik has tried to minimize the third in the other. outside distractions that come with the lofty ranking. It’s music to the ears of fans who suffered through the 2004 “I can only control how we proceed in this building,” Chizik debacle, when the Tigers finished the regular season 12-0 but said. “We just had a team meeting and we talked about being were left out of the national championship game for Southern very grounded and understanding that every week is a California and Oklahoma, who led them in the rankings another new week and another opportunity. It probably from the start. sounds to them the same old sad song every Sunday, but that’s Auburn hasn’t been ranked No. 1 in any poll since 1985. what we do.” It might be easier said that done. Within seconds of news The Tigers know the perils that come with it. In the last three breaking Sunday night that Auburn was No. 1, safety Zac weeks, a No. 1 team in the country has lost on the road. Etheridge’s phone started ringing. It wouldn’t stop as he Alabama lost at South Carolina and Ohio State lost at prepared to do interviews with reporters. Wisconsin while atop the Associated Press and coaches’ polls. “Yeah, everybody’s tweeting about it right now,” the senior Oklahoma, the initial BCS No. 1, lost at Missouri on said, putting his ringer on mute. “As a team, we don’t even October 23, 2010. think about it. That’s something to get our fans excited. We still got to go out each week and play. There’s just a number Auburn travels to Ole Miss on Saturday night. The Rebels are 3-4 this year, with a 1-3 SEC record. 1 in front of Auburn when it’s on TV.” The Tigers, who are ranked third in both the coaches’ and “You don’t take no one lightly,” left guard Mike Berry said. Harris polls, are the only team in the rankings with four wins “Everybody’s trying to win.” All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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10.30.2010 | Vaught-Hemingway Stadium | Oxford, MS


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Auburn Au burn Shru Shrugs gs Off No. 1 Cur Curse se To Bea Beatt Ole Miss By ANDY BITTER XFORD, Miss. — The Bowl Championship Series’ No. 1 team certainly looked the part Saturday night. Auburn showed no letdown in a 51-31 win at Mississippi, six days after rising to the top spot in the BCS rankings for the first time in school history.

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The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 SEC) avoided the top-ranked curse, doing what Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma couldn’t in the past three weeks — win a conference road game with a No. 1 ranking next to their school’s name. “We plugged our ears to the media when it came to every week the No. 1 team has fallen short of a victory,” quarterback Cam Newton said. On a day when Michigan State and Missouri fell from the ranks of the unbeatens, Auburn had no such trouble, building an insurmountable lead to silence the 61,474 in attendance at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the fifth-largest crowd in Mississippi history. Newton showed off his passing chops (and his potential as a 6-foot-6 receiver), the Tigers scored on several explosive plays, and the defense did a serviceable job of containing Rebels quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in a runaway win that should silence some of Auburn’s critics.

Often forgotten receivers Darvin Adams, Emory Blake and Terrell Zachery combined for 16 catches, 189 yards and two touchdowns. “I think it is good, because I hear a lot of people say that we’re a one-dimensional team and all we can do is run the ball,” Blake said. “But we’re aware we have talent on the perimeter, and we know what our ability is.” The Tigers took a 34-17 lead into halftime, getting a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Demond Washington and a 35-yard field goal from Wes Byrum in the final 2 1/2 minutes. They switched gears in the second half to put away Mississippi (4-4, 1-4). Auburn got 203 of its 343 rushing yards in the second half, topping the 300-yard mark for the fifth straight SEC game. “You rush for the yards that we rush for in this league, your offensive line has to be doing some great things,” Malzahn said. Freshman tailback Mike Dyer continued to establish himself as the Tigers’ go-to back, rushing 21 times for a career-high 180 yards and a touchdown. “Mike seemed to be the catalyst tonight,” Chizik said.

“I don’t know what they’re going to see when they watch us,” head coach Gene Chizik said. “But we’ve got a good football team.” Auburn finished with 572 yards of offense and 51 points, the most it has scored against Mississippi. “For us, that’s not much of a shock,” Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “It probably is for the outside world.” The Rebels devoted their resources to stopping Newton, the SEC’s leading rusher, from beating them with his legs. He did it with his arm instead. After showing off his receiving skills with an athletic 20-yard touchdown catch on a fade pattern in the first quarter, the Heisman Trophy candidate threw for 188 of his 209 yards in the first half. Newton completed a season-high 18 of 24 passes, spreading the ball around. 80

Onterio McCalebb added 99 yards, 68 coming on a first-quarter touchdown run, and Newton, who had 4 rushing yards by the half, finished with 45 in his lightest rushing load in weeks. Although the Tigers allowed 31 points — the sixth time they have allowed 24 or more in a game this year — they generally corralled Masoli, a dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the same vein as Newton. The senior threw for 189 yards and a touchdown, but Auburn limited him to 29 rushing yards on 14 carries. Auburn’s defense shut down any comeback thoughts, holding the Rebels to no yards in six plays on their first two second-half drives. The Tigers got a 30-yard touchdown run from Dyer and a season-long 48-yard field goal from Byrum to start the second half, putting the game out of reach at 44-17.

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The win puts Auburn a step closer to its goal of winning the SEC West and possibly more.

The Tigers have at least one backer on the Mississippi sideline. After the game, a Rebels assistant approached Newton with a simple request: “Go win it all.” AP Images

Demond Demo nd Was Washhingto ington, n, Mike Dyer Ea Earrn SEC Honors By AND ANDYY BI BITTER TTER emond Washington and Mike Dyer got in on the weekly SEC award bonanza Monday.

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kick return yards this season. He also made six tackles and intercepted a pass.

Washington earned co-Special Teams Player of the Week honors after Auburn's 51-31 win at Ole Miss, while Dyer was one of three players to share the Rookie of the Week award.

Washington, a senior from Tallassee, Ala., returned five kickoffs for 176 yards, including a 95-yarder for a touchdown, the second of his career. He broke Auburn's single-season kickoff return yardage record set by Tristan Davis in 2006. Washington has 806

Dyer, a freshman from Little Rock, Ark., ran for a career-high 180 yards on 21 carries against the Rebels. He scored on a 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He shared the award with Florida's Trey Burton and South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore. Auburn has had at least one SEC award winner every week this season.

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Scott 83 yd run (Rose kick) Newton 20 yd pass from Burns (Byrum kick) McCalebb 68 yd run (Byrum kick) Summers 29 yd pass from Masoli (Rose kick)

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Byrum 25 yd field goal Adams 24 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Rose 32 yd field goal Washington 95 yd kickoff return (Byrum kick) Byrum 35 yd field goal

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Dyer McCalebb Newton Fannin Zachary Trotter Caudle

Bolden 20 yd run (Rose kick) Zachery 10 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Bolden 5 yd run (Rose kick)

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

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28 46-343 229 25-19-0 1-2 5-176 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 1-0 PUNTS-AVG. 1-36.0 FUMBLES-LOST 1-1 PENALTIES-YARDS 4-36 TIME OF POSSESSION 33:14 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 9 of 13 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 0 of 0 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 4-4

RUSHING Scott Bolden Masoli Summers Thomas

9-134 6-32 14-29 1-20 1-3

PASSING Masoli 20-33-1-189

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UM 17 31-218 189 33-20-1 0-0 9-173 0-0 5-40.2 1-0 1-5 26:46 6 of 14 1 of 2 3-4 AP Images

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PASSING Newton 18-24-0-209 Burns 1-1-0-20 RECEIVING Adams Blake Zachery Burns Newton

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21-180 9-99 11-45 2-16 1-14 1-2 1 - (-13)

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RECEIVING Harris Summers Logan Grandy Neat Bolden Herman

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Auburn quarterback Cam Newton catches a 20-yard touchdown pass from Kodi Burns.

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Auburn Moves Up In Polls, Drops To Number 2 In BCS Rankings uburn jumped Boise State to No. 2 in the coaches' and Harris polls, but the Tigers lost their No. 1 Bowl Championship Series ranking.

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Auburn was jumped by Oregon for the No. 1 BCS spot, a week after the Tigers moved to the top of the rankings. Auburn moved up to No. 1 in the BCS rankings for the first time in school history last week largely on the strength of its computer ranking, which was tops in the country. The Ducks, who are No. 1 in both polls, were eighth in the computer rankings last week. They stand to move up considerably after beating Southern California and watching previously unbeaten Missouri and Michigan State both lose. The Tigers and Spartans were ranked second and third, respectively, in the computer rankings last week. Auburn still improved its standing in the polls, however. The Tigers jumped Boise State in the coaches' poll and Harris Poll to No. 2. Those rankings make up two-thirds of the BCS formula. Auburn gained 34 points in the coaches' poll, getting four first-place votes (one more than last week) to move past Boise State by 23 points. The Broncos were 33 points ahead of the Tigers last week. In the Harris poll, Auburn got 10 first-place votes, four more than last week. The Tigers went from 57 points behind Boise State to 48 points ahead. The Tigers closed the gap in the Associated Press poll, despite staying at No. 3. Auburn cut Boise State's lead from 43 points to seven. The AP poll does not factor into the BCS formula.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (51), 8-0, 1,464 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (4), 9-0, 1,384 points, LW: 3 3. Boise State (3), 7-0, 1,361 points, LW: 2 4. TCU (1), 9-0, 1,292, points LW: 4 5. Alabama, 7-1, 1,213, LW: 6

Harris poll snapshot:

4. TCU, 9-0, 2,529 points, LW: 4 5. Alabama, 7-1, 2,346 points, LW: 6

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (49), 8-0, 1,487 points, LW: 1 2. Boise State (7), 7-0 1,403 points, LW: 2 3. Auburn (2), 9-0 1,396 points, LW: 3 4. TCU (2), 9-0, 1396 points, LW: 4 5. Alabama, 7-1, 1,228 points, LW: 6

1. Oregon (92), 8-0, 2,823 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (10), 9-0, 2,683 points, LW: 3 3. Boise State (12), 7-0, 2,635 points, LW: 2

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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11.6.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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Coach Gene Chi Chizik zik Calls Quarterbac Quarterback Cam Newto Newtonn 'AA Phenomenal Young Man' After Tigers' Romp Over Tennessee-Chattanooga Chizik defends Newton after Mocs couldn’t By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — Unable to comment specifically about the recruiting controversy that has ensnared his quarterback’s name, Auburn coach Gene Chizik allowed himself to be more open when a question was asked about a potential hit to Cam Newton’s reputation.

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“Let me tell you something: This is a great kid,” Chizik said, his voice rising. “I can speak intelligently on that one. … “This is a great kid, and he’s been a great kid at Auburn University every day he’s been around me, this staff and his teammates. I don’t know what’s out there, and I don’t know what hits you’re talking about, but I can assure you this: This is a phenomenal young man. Make no mistake about that.” Newton finished with 341 total yards and five touchdowns in one half of No. 2 Auburn’s 62-24 dismantling of Chattanooga at Jordan-Hare Stadium, moving the Tigers to 10-0 for the fourth time in school history. The win, coupled with Alabama’s loss at LSU, means Auburn needs to beat only Georgia or Alabama to clinch its first berth in the SEC championship game since 2004. It was of little interest after the game Saturday. Questions quickly centered on allegations that went public Thursday that a man claiming to represent Newton’s family asked Mississippi State for $180,000 to secure the quarterback’s signature on a letter of intent during his recruitment last year. The man, identified by ESPN.com as former Mississippi State player Kenny Rogers, denied any wrongdoing Friday. Rogers works for a company that matches recruits with schools. Newton apologized for not being able to comment about the allegations Saturday but reiterated that he did nothing wrong. “I love Auburn. That’s all I’ve got to say,” he said. “God is blessing me right now. … When God be blessin’, the devil be messin’.” 88

Newton was asked whether he feels different after what has happened the past 48 hours. “I feel 10-0,” he said, drawing laughs from reporters. Auburn has continued to try to clear its name in the matter. Friday night, the Associated Press, citing an anonymous source in Auburn’s compliance office, reported the school has reviewed personal and church bank records of Newton’s dad, Cecil, in addition to phone and e-mail records of the Tigers’ football staff. The source is “extremely confident there was no wrong doing” on Auburn’s part. Chizik said he addressed the matter in a team meeting but declined to disclose what he said. Asked whether the program’s perception has been changed, Chizik said, “It hasn’t in terms of the way I see it and the way our players see it and certainly not the way our fans see it.” Newton didn’t let the accusations affect his public mood. The junior was his normal boisterous self Saturday, smiling and interacting with fans. His play didn’t suffer either. Newton threw for a career-high 317 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers built a 47-14 halftime lead against the Mocs (5-4), a team from the Football Championship Subdivision. He didn’t take a snap in the second half. Newton, who increased his SEC-leading

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship


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rushing total to 1,146 yards, completed 15 of 21 passes, enjoying an afternoon as a more traditional quarterback. “I am a quarterback,” he said. “That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s in my job description.” The Tigers finished with 628 yards of offense, getting 303 on the ground and 325 in the air. “It’s good,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “We’re going to need to be able to throw and run the football here down the stretch.”

touchdowns this year, getting closer to the 20/20 club. Florida’s Tim Tebow became the first player in NCAA history to accomplish the feat during his 2007 Heisman Trophy season. The allegations about Newton are sure to persist until the NCAA issues its ruling, but Chizik said the Tigers haven’t taken an us-against-the-world mentality. “That’s not how we live our life; that’s not who we are,” he said. “Whatever is out there is out there. We’re going to stay focused, and we’re going to do what we are supposed to do to be a better football team. That’s all that matters.”

Newton has 19 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing AP Images


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Auburn Jumps To No. 2 In Associated Press Poll, Matches Ranking In Coaches', Harris Polls uburn jumped to the No. 2 spot in the Associated Press poll today, matching its ranking in the USA Today coaches' and Harris Interactive polls. The Tigers trail Oregon in all three polls.

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Auburn, which beat Chattanooga 62-24 Saturday, was third in the AP poll last week but jumped Boise State, which fell to fourth. TCU is third (five points behind Auburn) and LSU fifth. The top two remained the same in the coaches' poll. TCU jumped Boise State for third. Wisconsin came in fifth. Auburn received four first-place votes from the coaches, two from the AP and seven from the Harris voters.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (50), 9-0, 1,463 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (4), 10-0, 1,389 points: LW: 2 3. TCU (2), 10-0 1,340 points: LW: 4 4. Boise State (3), 8-0, 1,330 points, LW: 3 5. Wisconsin, 8-1 1,184 points, LW: 7

Harris poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (92), 9-0, 2,820 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (7), 10-0, 2,684 points, LW: 2 3. TCU (5), 10-0 2,620 points, LW: 4 4. Boise State (9), 8-0, 2,585 points, LW: 3 5. Wisconsin 8-1, 2,229 points, LW: 7

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (49), 9-0, 1,484 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (2), 10-0, 1,396 points, LW: 3 3. TCU (2), 10-0, 1,391 points, LW: 4 4. Boise State (7), 8-0, 1,366 points, LW: 2 5. LSU, 8-1, 1,196 points, LW: 12


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FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

22 30-101 233 43-23-0 0-0 8-159

26 31-303 325 23-16-0 4-34 5-104

0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 6-34.0 FUMBLES-LOST 1-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 5-54 TIME OF POSSESSION 37:02 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 7 of 16 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 1 of 1 RED-ZONE SCORED-CHANCES 1-2 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS

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7-32 7-31 6-31 6-10 1-3 1-2 1- (-2) 1- (-5)

AUBURN PASSING Newton 15-21-0-317 Trotter 1-2-0-8 RECEIVING Zachery Adams Blake Burns

7-148 4-106 3-45 2-26

CHATTANOOGA PASSING Coleman 20-39-0-210 Nichols 3-4-0-23 RECEIVING Sutherland 10-97 Burns 4-48 Bradford 4-38 Anthony 2-21 Hughes 1-23 Pitchford 1-7 Jackson 1- (-1)


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11.13.2010 | Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL


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How The West Was Won: Auburn Tops Georgia, Clinches First SEC Title Game Berth Since 2004 By ANDY BITTER such a hot topic all week.

UBURN, Ala. — The Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd didn't budge following No. 2 Auburn's 49-31 win against Georgia, saluting the new SEC West champions in an elaborate post-game celebration that included video highlights, sing-a-longs and a lap around the field by the seniors.

The quarterback had a career-high 30 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns, headlining an Auburn rushing attack that finished with 315 yards against the SEC's second-best rushing defense.

For a moment, it was as though the Cam Newton cloud didn't hover over the program.

Newton was efficient in the air too, completing 12 of 15 passes for 148 yards and two more scores.

The Tigers (11-0, 7-0 SEC) clinched their first berth in the SEC title game since 2004 in typical fashion, roaring back from an early deficit with a defense that made just enough plays and an overwhelming rushing attack that topped 300 yards for the sixth straight SEC game.

"He had a great game," said Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, no stranger to NCAA investigations. "It's hard to focus when you're a quarterback and you've got all that stuff surrounding you. He's a great guy and I feel like he handled the show in a professional way."

"We have goals at the beginning of the year," said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who is 19-5 in two years on the Plains after going 5-19 at Iowa State. "And this was the first one."

Newton became the first SEC player and the eighth in NCAA history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

South Carolina, which beat Florida Saturday to clinch its first SEC title game berth ever, will be Auburn's opponent in Atlanta on Dec. 4.

With three more touchdown runs, he'll join Florida's Tim Tebow as the only other player in NCAA history to have 20 rushing and 20 passing touchdowns in the same season.

But the Tigers took Saturday's post-game to cherish what they had just accomplished. The seniors lingered on the field afterward, knowing it was their last game in the stadium. They eventually took a victory lap, cheered on by their adoring fans.

"I'm a blessed individual on a blessed team," said Newton, who was off limits to the media but provided quotes in a release from the school. "Everybody is doing their job in the system and it is a great feeling when it all comes together."

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The celebration was partly for winning the West — a long road back from the disappointing 5-7 season two years ago that ended Tommy Tuberville's tenure. But the Tigers' veterans were well aware they vanquished rival Georgia (5-6, 3-5 SEC) for the first time since 2006, snapping a four-game losing streak. "It's a great feeling," Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes said. "It really ain't even set in on me yet. It hit me, but it ain't like slapped the crap out of me yet. I'm just taking it in." Newton, whose eligibility has come into question after reports that his father, Cecil, discussed a pay-for-play plan with Mississippi State during the recruiting process last year, suited up and started. He showed exactly why his status was 94

The win wasn't easy by any means. Georgia, which needs to beat rival Georgia Tech to be bowl eligible for a 14th straight season, stormed to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter thanks to three touchdown passes by freshman Aaron Murray, who finished with 273 passing yards. Showing a poise beyond his years, Murray picked on Auburn's 95th nationally-ranked pass defense, twice hooking up with Green on first quarter touchdowns passes, one for 31 yards and one for 40. Green had nine catches for 164 yards. But Auburn stormed back to tie the game at 21 before halftime on Onterio McCalebb's 4-yard touchdown run and Philip Lutzenkirchen's 18-yard touchdown catch. The Tigers seized momentum with an onside kick to start

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the second half and never relented. Auburn had four second-half possessions and scored four touchdowns, finishing with 463 yards and converting 10 of 14 third downs. "We just couldn't stop them," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "That was the biggest difference." The teams traded blows until the end of the third quarter. McCalebb scored his third touchdown to put the Tigers up seven but Georgia couldn't answer, settling for a 28-yard Blair Walsh field goal that only trimmed Auburn's lead to 35-31.

touchdown catch and another Newton scoring plunge. The defense that looked so inept early on finally stiffened, holding Georgia to 19 yards in the fourth quarter. Auburn's pass rush took its toll, finishing with four sacks and 12 pressures and knocking Murray out of the game late. Although the Tigers allowed themselves to celebrate afterward, they knew their focus would soon be on their remaining games. They play at Alabama the day after Thanksgiving before heading to Atlanta the following week. "Our goal when we came here was to win a championship," Chizik said. "And we haven't done that yet."

The Tigers' offense kept churning out points, adding 14 more in the fourth quarter on Luzenkirchen's second All In In:: Au Aubu burn rn’’s Run to th the e Nati tion onal al Cham ampion pionsh ship ip

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Newton 31 yd run (Byrum kick) Green 31 yd pass from Murray (Walsh kick) Chapas 9 yd pass from Murray (Walsh kick) Green 40 yd pass from Murray (Walsh kick)

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Newton 30-151 McCalebb 12-71 Dyer 13-60 Zachery 1-31 Fannin 1-2 PASSING Newton 12-15-1-148 Burns 0-1-0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING King QUARTER Ealey McCalebb 4 yd run (Byrum kick) 12:26 Smith Lutzenkirchen 18 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 0:51 TEAM Murray Mason QUARTER McCalebb 2 yd run (Byrum kick) Ealey 7 yd run (Walsh kick) McCalebb 4 yd run (Byrum kick) Walsh 28 yd field goal

10:48 7:54 5:04 0:00

4TH QUARTER AU AU

Lutzenkirchen 13 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Newton 1 yd run (Byrum kick)

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

GA

17 24-81 273 28-15-0 0-0 7-99 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 1-25 PUNTS-AVG. 2-39.0 FUMBLES-LOST 1-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 10-89 TIME OF POSSESSION 25:45 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 4 of 9 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 1 of 2 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 3-3

96

8:05 2:45

AU 28 57-315 148 16-12-1 0-0 6-112 0-0 2-42.5 0-0 6-73 34:15 10 of 14 0 of 0 6-6

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

9-53 6-44 1-0 1-(-1) 6-(-4) 1-(-11)

AUBURN RECEIVING Blake Adams Lutzenkirchen Zachery Fannin

3-64 3-30 2-31 2-14 2-9

GEORGIA PASSING Murray 15-28-0-273 Mason 0-0-0-0 RECEIVING Green 9-164 Charles 3-56 Durham 1-28 Ealey 1-16 Chapas 1-9


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Auburn No. 2 In Polls, Closing Gap On Oregon uburn is still No. 2 in the Associated Press, USA Today coaches' and Harris Interactive polls, but it's closing the gap on top-ranked Oregon.

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The Tigers, who beat Georgia 49-31 Saturday, moved within 42 points of the top-ranked Ducks in the AP poll. Last week, the gap was 88. Auburn got 12 first-place votes this week, up from two. Oregon, which narrowly beat California 15-13, watched its first-place vote total drop from 49 to 38. The Tigers' had less of a gain in the coaches' poll, trimming the Ducks' advantage from 74 points to 60. Auburn had six first-place votes, up from four last week. Boise State jumped TCU in both polls for the No. 3 spot. LSU is fifth in the AP poll. Wisconsin is fifth in the coaches' poll. Auburn is second in the Harris poll, getting 35 first-place votes out of 114. It trails Oregon by 55 points. The AP poll is not a part of the BCS formula. The coaches' and Harris polls are.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (46), 10-0, 1,457 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (6), 11-0, 1,397 points, LW: 2 3. Boise State (5), 9-0, 1,329 points, LW: 4 4. TCU (2), 11-0, 1,318 points, LW: 3 5. Wisconsin, 9-1, 1,197 points, LW: 5

Harris poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (65), 10-0, 2,788 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (35), 11-0, 2,733 points, LW: 2 3. Boise State (11), 9-0, 2,591 points, LW: 4 4. TCU (3), 11-0, 2,583 points, LW: 3 5. Wisconsin, 9-1, 2,268 points, LW: 5

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (38), 10-0, 1,469 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (12), 11-0, 1,427 points, LW: 2 3. Boise State (9), 9-0, 1,377 points, LW: 4 4. TCU (1), 11-0 1,361 points, LW: 3 5. LSU, 9-1, 1,220 points, LW: 5


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Auburn Completes A Comeback For The Ages To Keep Its National Title Hopes Alive Auburn wins with second-half rally By ANDY BITTER USCALOOSA, Ala. -- Auburn has had its share of stunning comebacks this year, erasing double-deficits in wins against South Carolina, Clemson and Georgia.

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They all pale in comparison to Friday’s. The No. 2 Tigers rallied from a 24-point first-half deficit to pull out a 28-27 win against No. 11 Alabama, ending the Crimson Tide’s 20-game unbeaten streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “That was a game that will certainly go down in history,” Tigers coach Gene Chizik said, with no hint of hyperbole. Auburn (12-0, 8-0 SEC) kept its national title hopes alive in the process, with an SEC title game matchup against South Carolina next week in Atlanta all that separates the Tigers from a date in Glendale, Ariz., for the BCS title game. Although Auburn has come from behind in eight of its 12 victories this season, the 24-point deficit was the largest comeback in school history. “We’ve been in situations like this all the time,” linebacker Eltoro Freeman said. “We never point fingers. We never do none of that, man. We just stick together. We’ve been in this situation before.” Well, not quite like this. The three double-digit comebacks earlier this year all happened in the cozy confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium, before a friendly crowd in temperate weather. Friday’s was by far the most daunting -- Auburn trailed 24-0 after 22 minutes -- took place in chilly, sometimes drizzling weather, and happened before a Bryant-Denny Stadium crowd of 101,821 that Alabama (9-3, 5-3 SEC) hadn’t lost in front of since 2007. 102

It was all Crimson Tide early. Quarterback Greg McElroy threw for 315 of his career-high 377 passing yards by halftime, completing two touchdown passes. Receiver Julio Jones, who had 199 receiving yards, got lost behind a confused Auburn secondary on a broken coverage on one of them for a 68-yard score. Jeremy Shelley’s 20-yard field goal made it 24-0 at the 8:01 mark on the second quarter. But the Tigers didn’t crack. “The strength of this group is the team,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “That’s what makes it so fun. They care about each other, and they play for each other.” Auburn’s defense got timely turnovers when Antoine Carter and Nick Fairley forced fumbles near their own end zone, preventing the Tide from putting the game away in the first half. The Tigers’ offense couldn’t solve Alabama early -- “They were whipping our butts early,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said -- but finally got in gear midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Cam Newton engineered the comeback. He completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Emory Blake to cut the halftime lead to 24-7, then had a 70-yard hookup for a score with Terrell Zachery on the second half ’s second play.

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A 1-yard touchdown plunge by Newton cut the lead to 24-21 before another Shelley field goal, following a fumbled punt by Quindarius Carr, pushed Alabama’s lead back to 27-21.

Five plays later, Newton threw back across the field to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen for a 7-yard touchdown. Wes Byrum’s extra point gave the Tigers their first lead at 28-27 with 11:55 left.

It was but a mere hiccup in the comeback. On the ensuing possession, Auburn faced a fourth-and-3 at the Alabama 47 with 13:49 remaining. After a timeout, the Tigers lined up in a pooch punt formation, but Newton dropped back and fired a 9-yard pass right on the sideline to Darvin Adams for the first down.

Newton didn’t have eye-popping stats but finished with 216 passing yards and three touchdowns and 39 rushing yards and another score. “He’s a special player,” Malzahn said. “He found a way to lead us to victory.”

“We came here to win the game,” Chizik said. “We did not come here to tie. We didn’t come here with our hat in our hand. We came here to win the game. Sometimes you have to make those calls.” All In In:: Aub ubu urn rn’s ’s Ru Run n to the Na National tional Cham Champio pion nshi ship p

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The lead held up. Auburn allowed only 62 yards in the second half. T’Sharvan Bell’s cornerback blitz resulted in a sack that pushed the Tide out of field-goal range on its second to last drive, knocking McElroy out. Alabama got the ball back with 51 seconds left, but backup quarterback A.J. McCarron threw four straight incompletions to give Auburn the win. “That’s the thing about this team,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “We fight adversity. They had all the momentum in the world, but we know how to fight back.” The victory puts Auburn one step away from the national championship game. Chizik was asked afterward about the BCS national title game, and whether a one-loss SEC team should be considered.

“That was a “That game gam e that will certai cert ainly nly go down in histtory, his ory,” ”

He didn’t get into hypotheticals, boiling it down to the simplest terms. “If we’re lucky enough to win the SEC championship,” he said, “then we’ll be playing for it.”

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All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run to the National Championship

- Tigers Tigers Coa oach ch Gene Ge ne Ch Chizi izik k


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A Clos Closer Lo Look At The The 2010 Iron Bow Bowll

Cam Newton didn’t have the stats that most are accustomed to seeing, but the quarterback still had a hand in all four of Auburn’s touchdowns. The junior threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 39 yards and another score.

It happened early and didn’t seem like it would be a major factor -- Auburn trailed 21-0 at the time -- but defensive end Antoine Carter hustled all the way on a 41-yard reception by Alabama’s Mark Ingram, catching the running back after a lengthy sprint and knocking the ball loose and through the end zone.

up as though they would pooch punt it, but Newton took the snap, surveyed the field and fired a 9-yard pass to Darvin Adams near the sideline for a first down. Auburn capitalized by scoring the eventual game-winning touchdown five plays later.

“Sometimes it’s not just that you win, it’s how you win. That game tonight was not just a win, it was how we won.” - Auburn coach Gene Chizik

7-1 Auburn’s record all-time in Tuscaloosa.

24

Points the Tigers rallied back from for the win. It was the largest deficit Auburn has overcome in school history. Game-best tackles by Auburn’s T’Sharvan Bell.

4

Double-digit comebacks for Auburn this season. The Tigers hadn’t come back from more than two double-digit deficits in the same season since 1970.

Down 27-21 and facing a fourth-and-three from the Alabama 47 with 13:49 remaining, Auburn chose to go for it. The Tigers lined

Auburn All-American offensive lineman Lee Ziemba providing protection for quarterback Cam Newton.


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Tigh ightt End Lu Lutz tzenk enkirc irchen hen Dances Into Spotlight By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. — The catch will be replayed for eternity in Iron Bowl circles.

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Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen slipped past Alabama’s defenders, catching a wide open throwback pass from Cam Newton for a 7-yard touchdown that lifted the Tigers to a 28-27 victory last Friday. Then came the dance. Teammates still can’t quite decide how to describe it. “The leprechaun dance,” left tackle Lee Ziemba said. “It looked like a Riverdance to me,” right guard Byron Isom said. “I asked him: ‘What was that?’ ” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “He said he was excited. Wow. We’ll give him that one since that was such a big play. We’ll let it go that one time.” Lutzenkirchen has come into his own of late. The 6-foot-4, 258-pound sophomore’s role has largely been as a blocker this year, a major step forward for the tight end, who was primarily a receiver/H-back at Lassiter High in Marietta, Ga. “He’s had to learn to block and learn to do different things for us offensively other than catch the football,” head coach Gene Chizik said. “And I think he’s really come a long way in that regard. … It’s been good to watch him evolve, and he’s been a big part of our offense.” Lutzenkirchen said he’s done a 180 in his blocking from high school, adding a physical mindset that has helped Auburn SEC-leading running game. But he’s made the highlights for his receiving skills, especially as a red zone target. “Sometimes he’s in the backfield. Sometimes he’s a 3-point stance, hand-on-the-ground guy,” Chizik said. “But no matter where he is … he’s got good hands and can catch it.” Although he has only 12 receptions this year, five have gone for touchdowns. Three have come in the last two games,

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once he returned from a stinger that kept him out of the better part of two weeks. “He kind of gets lost,” Malzahn said. “He’s got great hands. He runs very good routes. It’s a tribute, too, to our other playmakers that he can get lost. He’s really made some big plays at some big times this year.”’ Friday’s was the biggest. Newton faked a handoff and moved to his right in the pocket along with nearly everyone in the formation. Lutzenkirchen, who lined up on the right hand side, acted like he was going to block, then released into a route on the left side of the field. Alabama lost track of him and Newton lobbed the game-winner back to Lutzenkirchen at the goal line. What ran through his mind? “Don’t drop it,” he said. “Everything kind of slows down and you’ve really got to focus in and make sure you see the ball into your hands and pray that you don’t drop it.” He didn’t. What happened next was unplanned. In a outburst of joy, Lutzenkirchen waltzed toward the back of the end zone, kicking his legs out to the side in a little jig. “I’ve been getting so much grief for that,” he said. “Just one of those things where I was so excited I really didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve got nothing to say about that.” “I asked him what he was thinking,” Isom said, laughing. “He said he just blacked out.” It’s spawned a dance -- Google “Teach me how to Lutzie” to see -- and gained him YouTube fame for a second time (he batted a pass back to a teammate for a touchdown while falling out of the end zone in high school). After all the grief he’s taken from his friends, does he think the dance will catch on? “I hope it doesn’t,” Lutzenkirchen said coyly. “I really hope it doesn’t.”

“The leprechaun dance,” - Left Tackle Lee Ziemba “It looked like a Riverdance to me,” - Right Guard Byron Isom

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run to the National Championship


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1ST

2ND

3RD

4TH

FINAL

AUBURN

0

7

14 7

28

ALABAMA

21 3

3

27

0

1ST QUARTER UA UA UA

Ingram 9 yd run (Shelley kick) Jones 68 yd pass from McElroy (Shelley kick) Hanks 12 yd pass from McElroy (Shelley kick)

3:26 0:37 5:08

2ND QUARTER UA AU

Shelley 20 yd field goal Blake 36 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick)

2:14 2:53

3RD QUARTER AU AU UA

Zachery 70 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) Newton 1 yd run (Byrum kick) Shelley 32 yd field goal

0:56 3:14 1:35

4TH QUARTER AU

Lutzenkirchen 7 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 4:10

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES ATT-COMP-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

AU

17 41-108 216 20-13-0 1-8 6-107 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 0-0 PUNTS-AVG. 7-38.7 FUMBLES-LOST 2-1 PENALTIES-YARDS 2-30 TIME OF POSSESSION 26:59 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 4 of 13 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 2 of 2 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 2-3

UA 23 30-69 377 41-27-0 2-0 3-62 0-0 4-33.8 2-2 7-40 33:01 3 of 12 3 of 4 4-5

“Sometimes it’s not just that you win, it’s how you win. That game tonight was not just a win, it was how we won.” - Auburn Coach Gene Chizik


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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING McCalebb Newton Dyer

8-50 22-39 9-27

PASSING Newton 13-20-0-216

AUBURN RECEIVING Blake Zachery Burns Adams McCalebb Lutzenkirchen Fannin

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Ingram Richardson Jones Maze McElroy

3-39 10-36 2-79 10-24 2-32 1-12 2-29 1-7 2-24 8-(-10) 1-7 1-6 PASSING McElroy 27-37-0-377

ALABAMA RECEIVING Jones Hanks Ingram Dial Richardson Maze

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

10-199 5-39 4-91 3-26 3-9 2-13

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Gue uerry rry Cl Clegg egg Co Com mmen menta tary: ry: There's No Quit In These Tigers USCALOOSA, Ala. --

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Keep pursuing. Keep pursuing. That’s all Antoine Carter would allow himself to consider. Alabama’s Mark Ingram, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, had caught a short pass from Greg McElroy and had turned a modest gain into yet another huge play for the Crimson Tide. Bama started the second quarter the way it ended the first -- completely dominating undefeated Auburn 21-0 in perhaps the most stunning first quarter in Iron Bowl history. On the fifth play of the second quarter, Ingram broke a tackle and kept rumbling toward the north end zone. Nick Fairley gave chase but couldn’t keep up. But he was close enough to see Carter relentlessly pursuing Ingram. “He’s a little slimmer than me, so he’s a little faster,” Fairley said. Keep pursuing. Keep pursuing. Quitting was not an option. Finally, Ingram stumbled, and Carter caught up just enough to reach out and poke the football loose at the 18-yard line. That was the first miracle. The second miracle was that the ball kept tumbling end over end until it rolled through the end zone.

early in the second quarter. The scoreboard read Alabama 21, Auburn 0. The stat sheet was even more ominous. Bama had run 23 offensive plays for 206 yards. Auburn: nine plays, eight yards. Or, how’s this for perspective. That’s two fewer yards than McElroy had just run for on one play. “It’s just in me,” Carter said. “Coaches, since Day One, they talked about finishing, even if it’s five yards or two yards, two inches to the line, just finishing the play.” Keep pursuing. Keep pursuing. That’s all the Tigers would allow themselves to consider. They had been in this position before. They were dominated in the first quarter by Clemson in much the same fashion. Yet they won. The very next week, they were down to South Carolina. Yet they won again. Arkansas and Georgia. “We talked about blindfolding them before the game,” Roof said, “and telling them when they ran onto the field that it was the second half.” Yeah, they’d been here before figuratively … but not HERE literally -- not at Bryant-Denny Stadium, with 101,821 fans and only a few thousand of them wearing orange and blue. The unwelcoming began before the game, when the Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run” blared over the loudspeakers. It was a swipe at Newton and the allegations that his minister-father, Cecil, demanded money for his son’s services. That was conveniently followed by “Son of a Preacher Man” … and, a few minutes later, a public service announcement calling for sportsmanship.

Touchback. Auburn ball at its 20. “We talk to our kids about not having a change of speed,” said defensive coordinator Ted Roof. “We play at one speed -- full speed. That was the beginning of the comeback. That was it. There were a lot of plays, but that sparked it.”

But Newton had bigger problems than a breakdown of decorum. There was the breakdown of his pass protection and a case of dropsies by his receivers. Auburn had NEVER come back from 24 points down to win. Keep pursuing. Keep pursuing.

The history books will display the final score -- Auburn 28, Alabama 27. The recap will state that the Tigers won on Cam Newton’s touchdown pass to Phillip Lutzenkirchen early in the fourth quarter. Further detail will note that Auburn remained undefeated and in the national championship hunt.

But even as the Tigers kept fighting, Alabama had a chance to put the game away. The Tide led 24-7, and McElroy had them back inside the Auburn 10 with a minute left in the first half A field goal would have made it a 20-point game. A touchdown might have put it out of reach.

But it all began when Carter refused to give up on a play

It was Fairley’s turn.

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“I figured the quarterback was going to take a three-step drop,” Fairley said. “He did, and I just timed it right.” Fairley drove McElroy to the turf, separating him from the ball and his senses. “I thought the play was over because the offensive lineman was helping him up,” Fairley said. “I saw the ball on the ground and just fell on it.” Fifty-six seconds into the second half, the Tigers had new life. Newton hit Terrell Zachery on the left sideline. He broke a tackle and scored, making it a 10-point game.

Likewise, this win just might sway some of Auburn’s few remaining doubters, who have written the Tigers’ success off to one great player and a convenient schedule. “Cam’s a great player,” Roof said. “But the strength of our team IS the team. As a coach, that’s a very, very special thing to say.” -- Guerry Clegg is an independent correspondent. You can write to him at sports@ledger-enquirer.com

“From that point forward,” Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said, “we really felt like we were going to win the game. That’s the way this team has done all year. No matter what the score is, they just believe. We’ve got some great leaders on this team.” The Tigers were just as dominant in the first 20 minutes of the second half as Alabama had been in the first. Newton plunged into the end zone to make it a three-point game. The Tigers opened the fourth quarter with their fourth touchdown drive to cap the greatest comeback in Iron Bowl history. The drive included a fourth-and-three play, which Auburn converted. “I like that,” Malzahn said. “Chiz is a very aggressive guy. He’s a winner. He came to win.” Statistically, this was not a work of art for Newton. He was held to 39 yards rushing. Yet this just might have solidified his Heisman legitimacy. Alabama took him out of his comfort zone, yet he still found a way to win.

Auburn defensive end Antoine Carter strips Alabama running back Mark Ingram. This play proved to be the turning point in the game.


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Iron Bo Bowl wl:: Au Aubu burn rn Defens Defensee Steps teps Up In Seco Seconnd Half To Stop Tide Tigers held Alabama to just 62 second-half yards By ANDY BITTER

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prohibits “any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act” in which a player directs attention to himself.

The Tigers shocked some people the rest of the way.

Coach Gene Chizik didn’t criticize the officials afterward. “I never blame the officials,” Chizik said. “It’s our problem. We’ve got to fix it.”

USCALOOSA, Ala. -- For one half against Alabama on Friday, the Auburn defense looked like the Achilles’ heel everyone has made it out to be all

season.

Auburn’s defense, which was blistered for 379 first-half yards, allowed only 62 in the second half and held Alabama to three points in the final 38 minutes in a 28-27 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium. “We were just saying: it’s time for us to step up,” linebacker Eltoro Freeman said. “Forget all the excitement. Forget all the jumping around. What you’re going to do and this and that. Now it’s time to play. Ain’t no more talking. So that’s what we did.” The Tigers were a mass of confusion throughout the first half. A coverage breakdown between safety Mike McNeil and cornerback T’Sharvan Bell allowed receiver Julio Jones to sprint past them for an easy 68-yard touchdown reception that made it 14-0. “We had to get a flavor for what they were doing because they were doing a bunch of new things that they had not shown before,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. On the next drive, Auburn appeared to push the Tide out of field-goal range on a third-down sack by tackle Nick Fairley. But Fairley was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, allowing Alabama to convert a first down and later get a touchdown catch from Darius Hanks that made it 21-0. The SEC appeared to have its eye on Fairley after Georgia submitted complaints to the league office two weeks ago for what it thought were flagrant hits on his part. The tackle’s celebration was modest by most standards (and was near quarterback Greg McElroy) but resulted in a flag nonetheless.

Auburn eventually got everything under control. The Tigers continued to give up yardage but forced two big turnovers before halftime that prevented the game from getting out of hand. Defensive end Antoine Carter chased down Mark Ingram from behind on a long pass play, knocking the ball loose and through the end zone for a touchback. “That was a huge play in the football game,” Roof said. “It may get lost with what happened in the second half, but, looking back, that was a critical, critical piece to this thing.” Just before halftime, Fairley sacked quarterback Greg McElroy in the red zone, knocking the ball loose and falling on it to keep the score at 24-7. Fairley finished with four tackles, two sacks and two tackles for a loss. “That’s Nick Fairley,” Roof said. “Your big-time players have to make plays when you need them the most.” Auburn cracked down in the second half. The Tigers limited to the Tide to only 69 rushing yards, holding Ingram to 36 yards on 10 carries for the game. Defensive linemen Michael Goggans and Mike Blanc returned after serving a one-half suspension for throwing punches at the end of the Georgia game, allowing the Tigers to up their defensive pressure.

“I just got a little excited after the play,” Fairley said. “I just have to calm down, keep my composure some more.”

Auburn finished with five sacks of Greg McElroy. The last, by T’Sharvan Bell on a cornerback blitz, knocked McElroy out of the game with a concussion and effectively ended any comeback bid by the Crimson Tide.

SEC coordinator of officials Rogers Redding released a statement afterward that said the flag was for a rule that

“We’ve known for the longest time we have heart,” Fairley said. “We’ve got that dog in us. We’re going to always fight.”

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“We’ve known for the longest time we have heart,” Fairley said. “We’ve got that dog in us. We’re going to always fight.”


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Auburn Pla Auburn Played yed In Tw Twoo Mo Most-Watched st-Watched Gam ames es On Televi Tel evisio sionn Thi hiss Se Seas ason on By AND ANDYY BI BITTER TTER uburn played in the two most-watched games in the country this season and three of the top six.

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The Tigers' Iron Bowl win against Alabama on Nov. 26 was watched by 12.52 million people. Their Dec. 4 SEC championship game against South Carolina was watched by over 10 million. Auburn's Nov. 13 game against Georgia was sixth on the list, with 8.262 million viewers. The Tigers should have another entry on the list by the end of the season: the BCS title game against Oregon on Jan. 10. Last year's BCS title game between Alabama and Texas had over 30 million viewers.

11/26 - CBS - Auburn vs. Alabama -12,520,000 viewers 12/4 - CBS - SEC Championship: Auburn vs. South Carolina - 10,093,000 viewers 9/6 - ESPN - Boise State vs. Virginia Tech - 9,888,000 viewers 12/4 - ABC - Big 12 Championship: Nebraska vs. Oklahoma - 8,981,000 viewers 10/2 - CBS - Florida vs. Alabama - 8,595,000 viewers 11/13 - CBS - Georgia vs. Auburn - 8,262,000 viewers 9/25 - CBS - Alabama vs. Arkansas - 8,138,000 viewers 11/26 - ESPN - Arizona vs. Oregon - 7,787,000 viewers

Here's the full list, courtesy of the SEC:

10/9 - CBS - Alabama vs. South Carolina - 7,662,000 viewers


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Auburn Gains Auburn ins Fir First st-Plac -Placee Votes, Stiill Second Behind Vo Oregon In All Three Polls By ANDY BITTER uburn's win against Alabama netted it some first-place votes, but it remained No. 2 behind Oregon overall in the Associated Press, USA Today coaches' and Harris Interactive polls.

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The Tigers got 10 first-place votes in the coaches' poll, up from four a week ago, but they still trail the Ducks by 40 points in the poll. Last week the gap was 61. Oregon got 46 first-place votes. In the AP poll, Auburn got 23 first-place votes, up from 13 last week. Oregon, which was in the No. 1 spot by 19 points, got 36 first-place votes. Auburn got 42 first-place votes in the Harris poll, up from 31 last week. All three polls have the same top five: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Wisconsin and Stanford. The highest-ranked SEC team behind Auburn is Arkansas, which is eighth in all three polls. The coaches' and Harris polls makes up two-thirds of the Bowl Championship Series rankings.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (46), 11-0, 1,459 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (10), 12-0, 1,419 points, LW: 2 3. TCU (3), 12-0 1,343 points, LW: 4 4. Wisconsin, 11-1, 1,282 points, LW: 5 5. Stanford, 11-1, 1,233 points, LW: 8

Harris poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (70), 11-0, 2,804 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (42), 12-0, 2,769 points, LW: 2 3. TCU (2), 12-0, 2,621 points, LW: 3 4. Wisconsin, 11-1, 2,441 points, LW: 5 5. Stanford, 11-1, 2,417 points, LW: 7

AP poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (36), 11-0, 1,475 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (23), 12-0, 1,456 points, LW: 2 3. TCU (1), 12-0 1,383 points, LW: 4 4. Wisconsin, 11-1, 1,289 points, LW: 5 5. Stanford, 11-1, 1,283 points, LW: 7

Newton,, Fair Newton irley ley na named med SEC players of the week; Newton, Ziemba named AFCA All-Americans By ANDY BITTER uburn dominated the SEC Player of the Week rundown one final time Monday.

A

Quarterback Cam Newton was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week after the regular season finale, while defensive tackle Nick Fairley earned co-Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. It's the sixth time this season Newton has gotten the award. Fairley has been honored by the league five different times. Newton completed 13 of 20 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns in Auburn's 28-27 come-from-behind win at Alabama. It gave him 24 passing touchdowns this season, breaking Chris Todd's school record set last year. He also ran for 39 yards and another touchdown, his school record 18th rushing touchdowns this year. Bo Jackson (1985) and Carnell Williams (2004) had the previous record. Fairley finished with four tackles and two sacks against Alabama. He forced a fumble and recovered it at Auburn's 8-yard line when the Crimson Tide was poised to score before halftime. Fairley leads the SEC with 20 tackles for a loss this year (a school record) and has 9.5 sacks, which are second-most in the conference. UPDATE: In other award news, Newton and left tackle Lee Ziemba were both named to the AFCA All-America Team. Ziemba, a senior, has started all 50 games of his Auburn career, a school record. He's anchored an Auburn offensive line that has paved the way for a rushing offense that leads the SEC and is sixth nationally, averaging 291.3 yards per game.


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SEC

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

AP RANK

1

AUBURN

56

AP RANK

19 SOUTH CAROLINA 17 12.4.2010 | Georgia Dome | Atlanta, Georgia


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SEC Championship Game: Cam Newton Leads The Way As Auburn Punches BCS Title Game Ticket By ANDY BITTER s the final seconds ticked off of Auburn's 56-17 rout of South Carolina in the SEC championship game, offensive linemen Mike Berry and Byron Isom hoisted quarterback Cam Newton upon their shoulders for an impromptu victory parade through a cascade of confetti falling from the Georgia Dome ceiling.

A

For once, Newton's teammates were carrying him. Newton, the star quarterback who has spent the last month embroiled in a recruiting scandal, was as masterful as ever Saturday, accounting for 408 yards and six touchdowns to earn MVP honors as Auburn (13-0) secured a spot in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game on Jan. 10. "A wise man told me, if God is with me, who can be against me?" Newton said during the post-game trophy presentation, his first public comments since Nov. 9. Flanked by Newton at the post-game press conference, head coach Gene Chizik didn't hold back his praise of the player who transformed Auburn from a team on the rise to national title contender in less than a year. "He can't get too big of a head with one game left," Chizik said, "but I can say he's probably the best football player I've ever seen." Newton did nothing to dissuade the argument Saturday. The junior, who grew up not far down the road in College Park, beat South Carolina (9-4) in every way imaginable, throwing for a career-high 335 yards and four touchdowns and adding 73 yards and two more scores on the ground. "I've coached some great quarterbacks, but talent-wise, he's tough to top," offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said.

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“Honestly, it hasn't even sunk in right now,” Newton said. “I've just been living the dream this whole year.”


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His month-long gag order lifted, Newton read from a prepared statement after the game, thanking his teammates, family and coaches for their support throughout the ordeal. "It means a lot to me to be on this team and be a part of the Auburn family," he said. "As I said before, I've done nothing wrong." He concluded by saying he would only answer questions about football-related matters. Asked if his dad, whose access to the program was limited in the NCAA's ruling, would be present at next week's Heisman Trophy presentation, Chizik interjected with a testy response. "We're going to stay away from those questions right now and stay football related, please, with all due respect," Chizik said. Newton and Auburn answered every question about their national title worthiness on the field, however. The quarterback came out firing, leading a 21-point first quarter blitz, the most points scored in the opening quarter of an SEC title game. Onterio McCalebb scored on a 12-yard catch, Newton on a 5-yard run and Darvin Adams on a 54-yard reception as Auburn built a 21-7 lead. Adams finished with 217 receiving yards, an SEC title game record. But South Carolina appeared to seize all momentum back just before halftime. After Wes Byrum missed a 36-yard field goal, the Gamecocks drove the length of the field in less than two minutes, getting a 1-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Garcia to Alshon Jeffery with 16 seconds remaining. The Gamecocks left too much time. A squib kick and short pass gave the Tigers one last chance. On the half's final play, Newton rolled to his right and heaved a Hail Mary downfield. South Carolina's DeVonte Holloman tipped it at the goal line, right into the arms of Adams for 51-yard touchdown and 28-14 halftime lead. Just how Malzahn drew it up, right? "Well ... no," he said with a laugh. "It worked out like we wanted it to. Let's put it that way." The outcome was never in doubt after that. The Tigers outscored the Gamecocks 28-3 in the second half. Newton added a 1-yard touchdown run and a 6-yard scoring pass to Emory Blake. His six touchdowns accounted for tied Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel's SEC title game record set in 1996. Newton also joined the 20-20 club, with 28 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns this season. In college football history, only Tim Tebow (2007) had accomplished that feat. Both Wueffel and Tebow won the Heisman Trophy those years. Newton, the unquestioned frontrunner for the award, will likely claim his next Saturday. A perfect record, a national title game berth, the Heisman — Newton couldn't ask for a better season. "Honestly, it hasn't even sunk in right now," he said. "I've just been living the dream this whole year." All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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Defense Defen se Deli Delivers Full Game me For SEC Championship Tigers play steady, then make big play By CHRIS WHITE TLANTA -- Before the Southeastern Conference championship game, Auburn linebacker Josh Bynes wondered just what No. 1 Auburn could do if its defense played an entire game with the same fervor it had in the second half throughout the season.

A

Saturday, he found out as the Tigers limited No. 19 South Carolina to a pair of first-half touchdowns and a fourth-quarter field goal in a 56-17 victory. “I knew that if we play like that in the first and second quarters, we could be the most dominant defense, the most unbeatable team in the nation,” Bynes said. “It showed today.” Auburn held South Carolina to 193 passing yards, the least the Tigers have allowed since an Oct. 30 victory over Mississippi. The Gamecocks’ running game didn’t fare much better, and the Tigers’ 39-point victory was the most lopsided in the SEC title game’s history. “I thought we played well, I thought we played hard, and I thought we played for four quarters,” Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “It wasn’t always pretty at the start there, but, I tell you, they responded and did a real nice job. They were physical and resilient like they’ve been all year.” South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore had 84 of the team’s 156 rushing yards, and each of the Gamecocks’ two touchdowns came on first-half Stephen Garcia passes.

line to hurry Garcia, who backpedaled deep into the “Our game plan was shutting down the run; that’s first and Gamecocks zone before throwing up a pass that Bell foremost,” Bynes said. “If you let them run the ball, it opens intercepted and ran back 10 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. up passes, play action, all sorts of things.” After the ground game was contained, Auburn set to work on “When it happened, I knew right then we were going to win,” pressuring Garcia and eventually forced him into a bad pass. Bell said. “I thought, ‘This is just going to be the type of game we’re having.’ ” When that happened, Auburn cornerback T’Sharvan Bell was Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley said he could sense there to make him pay. South Carolina’s chances deflating as Bell returned the Auburn’s Craig Stevens broke through the South Carolina interception.


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“That was a real big play,” Fairley said. “We could feel the air come out of them then.” Early on, however, there were moments that gave Auburn’s defense a scare. South Carolina answered Auburn’s opening scoring drive with one of its own, going 75 yards on seven plays and ending with a 25-yard Patrick DiMarco touchdown catch. And the Gamecocks made it 21-14 on their final possession of the first half with a 1-yard Alshon Jeffery touchdown reception.

Several Auburn players chalked up the scores to miscommunication in the secondary, which they patched in the second half to hold South Carolina to a field goal. “We held our ground defensively and went out there and made stop after stop after stop,” Bynes said. “And that’s why we’re the SEC champs.”

“We held our ground defensively and went out there and made stop after stop after stop,” Bynes said. “And that’s why we’re the SEC champs.”


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Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams makes a first-quarter reception in front of South Carolina’s Stephan Gilmore to set up the Tigers’ first touchdown.

Wide Receiver Darvin Adams Sets SEC Championship Game Record His 217 yards all come in first half By CHRIS WHITE TLANTA -- There was time for only one thought as Auburn wide receiver Darvin Adams watch a deflected Hail Mary pass float his way as time expired in the first half of Saturday’s Southeastern Conference championship game.

A

“Just catch the ball,” Adams said. “That’s it. That’s all that’s going on.” The 6-foot-3 junior leaned over a South Carolina defender 124

and snagged the football as he fell to the ground in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The catch sent No. 1 Auburn to halftime leading No. 19 South Carolina 28-14. Adams set a new SEC championship game record for receiving yards with 217. In that instant, a play typically used in desperation marked a dominant one as Auburn built on the momentum taken from that halftime lead for a 56-17 victory. “That was a huge momentum booster for us to just take it down there and score right before the half,” Auburn offensive lineman Lee Ziemba said. “I’m just glad we had coaches that were aggressive enough to try something like that.” By the end of the first quarter, Adams had 140 yards on four catches, including a 62-yarder and a 52-yard touchdown play, on which he blazed by a South Carolina defender after faking a cut inside. At halftime, he had seven catches for 217 yards, more than his next two biggest games of the season combined.

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run un to the National Championship


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The old record of 171 receiving yards, set by Florida’s Reidel Anthony, had stood since 1996. Adams didn’t catch a pass in the second half, but by then he had done his damage and earned a new reputation. Several teammates said he was as well-known for his blocking as his big catches before Saturday’s game, and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton said he was pleased to see Adams’ abilities highlighted on such a big stage. “Darvin is the definition of a complete football player,” Newton said. “He blocks. He catches. And whatever Coach (Gene Chizik) asks him to do, he’s willing to do it. And that just goes to show you, what he did today, just the little things that we see every single day out of Darvin Adams.” Adams downplayed his own role in the game, offering credit to Newton, to his line and to the Auburn defense. But it was that tipped touchdown pass at the end of the first half that his teammates and Chizik cited as the largest shift of momentum in the game. “I was just trying to make my catches,” Adams said. “It’s just my job to catch it when they throw it to me.” On the Hail Mary play, the Gamecocks got little pressure on Newton before he fired it about 50 yards in the air. There were several Auburn receivers and USC defenders in the area and DeVonte Holloman was able to get a hand on the ball.

“He (Newton) chucked one deep and I tried to knock it down, but it ended up popping up instead of down,” Holloman said. “I guess no one was really ready for it except for (Adams). He was sitting there waiting for it. We should have gone in down by seven but instead we go in down by 14. That was a big difference.”

Darvin Adams broke the SEC championship game record for receiving yards by halftime, but it’s hard to overlook quarterback Cam Newton, who, as he has all season, did it all. The junior accounted for 408 yards and six touchdowns, earning game MVP.

South Carolina seized momentum before halftime, pulling within 21-14 on a 1-yard Alshon Jeffery touchdown catch with 16 seconds left. It was too much time for Auburn. On the half’s final play, Newton rolled to his right and heaved a Hail Mary, which got tipped by Gamecocks cornerback Devonte Holloman right into the arms of Adams for a 51-yard touchdown with no time on the clock.

Gilmore was in front of Adams, but lost his footing.

Auburn is a run-first team, but offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn saw a weakness in the Gamecocks’ 99th nationally ranked pass defense and exploited it. Newton had 281 yards at halftime, more than he had against any SEC foe in an entire game this season. All of Adams’ seven catches and 217 receiving yards came in the first half. By the end, the Tigers had 348 passing yards, a season high.

“It was just a good play by them,” Gilmore said. “They threw it up and DeVonte tried to tip it down, but he ended up tipping it back. He was just in the right place at the right time. I was going down.”

“They never gave us a chance, baby. That’s what makes it so sweet.” -- Auburn cornerback T’Sharvan Bell, as he walked into the locker room.

Defensive tackle Travian Robertson blamed the breakdown on the entire defense.

0

Times South Carolina sacked Auburn quarterback Cam Newton despite hurrying him 11 times.

2

Number of missed field goals by South Carolina’s Spencer Lanning, who came up empty on attempts from 51 and 42 yards to finish 1-for-3 on field goal attempts.

9

Game-best tackles by Auburn’s T’Sharvan Bell.

He tipped the ball in the air instead of knocking it down and Adams reached over a falling Stephon Gilmore and grabbed the ball for the score.

“I was inside and Newton rolled out,” Robertson said. “Devin (Taylor) went inside and we didn’t have contain. We didn’t have a threat on him. He just threw the ball up and when I turned around all our guys were in position to make a play on it. We could have batted it down or caught it for an interception, but we choose to bat it and their guy was in the right position to make the catch.”

408 Total yards of offense by Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Holloman wanted to knock the ball down, but it so happened to go the other way. All In In:: A Aub ubu urn rn’s ’s Ru Run n to the Na National tional Champio Champion nshi ship p

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21 7

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1ST QUARTER AU SC AU AU

McCalebb 12 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 13:20 DiMarco 25 yd pass from Garcia (Lanning kick) 9:53 Newton 5 yd run (Byrum kick) 5:31 Adams 54 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) 2:09

2ND QUARTER SC AU

Jeffery 1 yd pass from Garcia (Lanning kick) Adams 51 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick)

0:16 0:00

3RD QUARTER AU AU

Newton 1 yd run (Byrum kick) Bell 10 yd interception return (Byrum kick)

7:56 7:23

4TH QUARTER AU SC AU

Blake 7 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) FG Lanning 33 yd Fannin 6 yd run (Byrum kick)

STATISTICS

AU

SC

FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING COMP-ATT-INT PUNT RETURN YARDS PUNTS-AVG. FUMBLES-LOST PENALTIES-YARDS TIME OF POSSESSION

28 42-238 351 18-29-0 10 1-36.0 1-1 4-44 31:01

20 30-156 193 20-33-2 0 3-50.0 0-0 4-31 28:59

11:14 7:48 2:22


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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Newton Dyer Trotter McCalebb Fannin Zachery Burns

14-73 14-64 2-37 3-30 6-28 1-3 2-3

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AUBURN RECEIVING Adams Blake Smith Lutzenkirchen Winter McCalebb Zachery

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Lattimore Shaw Garcia Maddox

7-217 16-84 5-63 6-49 2-23 7-18 1-18 1-5 1-16 1-12 PASSING 1-2 Garcia 16-28-2-170 Shaw 4-5-0-23

SOUTH CAROLINA RECEIVING Jeffery Lattimore Gurley Moore Sanders DiMarco Triglia Miles

4-36 3-36 3-32 3-30 3-9 2-38 1-9 1-3

PASSING Newton 17-28-0-335 Trotter 1-1-0-16

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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Best Quo Best uotes es Fro From m Th Thee SEC Championship Game “It’s not even sunk in. I’ve just been living the dream.” - Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton “Darvin is the definition of a complete football player. He blocks. He catches. And whatever Coach (Gene Chizik) asks him to do, he’s willing to do it. And that just goes to show you, what he did today, just the little things that we see every single day out of Darvin Adams.” - Cam Newton

“You can’t tackle him. He’s almost a one-man show but those guys really help and their receivers are really good. With that offensive line and him, it’s hard to stop him.” - South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier I don’t like to put anybody at the top. He’s certainly one of the best quarterback runners probably to ever come through college ball. It will be interesting to watch him in pro ball because he dodges people. He doesn’t take hard hits with a helmet. They can’t do it.” - Steve Spurrier

“We can still tell recruits you can be on that first Southeastern Conference championship team. I can still say that. Going into my seventh year, I can still say that. We’ll make it happen one day.” - Steve Spurrier

“I was just trying to make my catches. It’s just my job to catch it when they throw it to me.” - Darvin Adams


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“When you look at the 13-game span, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s running the ball. It’s throwing the ball. Usually great quarterbacks do one or the other better. What God has blessed Cameron with is the ability to be really, really good at both.” - Auburn Coach Gene Chizik


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Auburn Ju Auburn Jump mpss Orego Oregonn To No. 1 In Final AP Poll, Still Second Behind Ducks In Coaches' Poll By ANDY BITTER uburn and Oregon both staked claims to the No. 1 spot in the polls this week, a difference they'll settle on the field in the Bowl Championship Series title game in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10.

A

The Tigers jumped the Ducks for the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll after their SEC championship game rout of South Carolina on Saturday. Auburn got 36 first-place votes to Oregon's 23. Those numbers were flipped last week. It's the first time the Tigers have been No. 1 in the AP poll since 1985. Auburn has six victories this season against teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Outside of the SEC West, no other team has more than two. The Ducks remained No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll, although the Tigers closed the gap. Auburn gained 14 first-place votes, bringing its total to 24. Oregon had 34 first-place votes and maintained a 13-point lead in the poll.

Coaches' poll snapshot: 1. Oregon (34), 12-0, 1,450 points, LW: 1 2. Auburn (24), 13-0, 1,437 points, LW: 2 3. TCU (1), 12-0, 1,348 points, LW: 3 4. Wisconsin, 11-1, 1,276 points, LW: 4 5. Stanford, 11-1, 1,239 points, LW: 5

AP poll snapshot: 1. Auburn (36), 13-0, 1,473 points, LW: 2 2. Oregon (23), 12-0, 1,462 points, LW: 1 3. TCU (1), 12-0, 1,379 points, LW: 3 4. Wisconsin, 11-1, 1,289 points, LW: 4 5. Stanford, 11-1, 1,283 points, LW: 5

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AN AWARD WINNING YEAR


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Cam Newton Wins Walter Camp Award Cam Newton kicked off his awards night with a win: he was the recipient of the Walter Camp Award as the nation's best player Thursday night. Newton is the 44th recipient of the award. He is the third Auburn player to win the award, joining Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985). The award is voted on by the nation's 120 FBS head coaches and sports information directors. Newton beat out Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon running back LaMichael James for the award. Auburn left tackle Lee Ziemba and defensive tackle Nick Fairley were also named first-team Walter Camp All-Americans.

Cam New ewtton Wins Davey O'Br O' Brie ienn Award Cam Newton's award haul kept growing, when he was named the Davey O'Brien winner as the nation's top quarterback at the ESPN College Awards Show on Thursday night. He beat out Stanford's Andrew Luck and Boise State's Kellen Moore for the honor. Newton was named Walter Camp National Player of the Year earlier in the night. He is also up for the Maxwell Award as the best allaround player.

Newton Takes Home Maxwell Award, Too Auburn quarterback Cam Newton earned his third award Thursday, taking home the Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation's best all-around player. Newton earlier won the Walter Camp Award (national player of the year) and the Davey O'Brien Award (top quarterback). "Just a blessed individual," Newton said afterward. "No guy would be able to do it without a great supporting cast." Newton is the first Auburn player to win the Maxwell Award. Up next for the quarterback is a trip to New York, where he's expected to be the third Tiger to win the Heisman Trophy.


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“Be strong, represent and just keep going, doing your thing.” - Jackie Newton, message to Cam

“Just a blessed individual,” said Newton. “No guy would be able to do it without a great supporting cast.”

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Cam Newton Wins Heisman Trophy By Andy Bitter EW YORK — Auburn's Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night the same way he played all season — running away from the compe-

N tition.

The prohibitive favorite, Newton, a 6-foot-6 quarterback who led the Tigers to a 13-0 record, SEC championship and spot in the BCS national title game against Oregon, officially claimed college football's highest individual honor at the Best Buy Theater near Times Square in the 76th annual presentation of the award. "I'm a living testimony that anything is possible," Newton said afterward, getting choked up during his acceptance speech. Newton was voted first on 729 of 926 ballots cast (78.7 percent), the third highest percentage in the history of the award behind Ohio State's Troy Smith (2006) and Florida State's Charlie Ward (1993). Newton finished with 2,263 AP Images points, well ahead of the competition. Stanford's Andrew Luck was a distant second with 1,079. The 1,184-point difference was the 11th largest in the history of the award. Oregon's LaMichael James finished third with 916 points and Boise State's Kellen Moore fourth at 635. Newton joined Pat Sullivan (1971) and Bo Jackson (1985) as Auburn's only Heisman Trophy winners. The Tigers are the ninth school to have three or more winners of the award. They are tied with Florida for the most by an SEC school. “This is a phenomenal young man,” Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. “He’s different on the field and he’s different off the field. He’s a great kid. We get much joy and much satisfaction out of seeing our own get the benefits and see the

fruits of his labor, which are many. It’s very well deserved, no question about it. Everything he gets he’s worked for and he deserves every bit of it." The quarterback, who signed with Auburn last December after playing at Blinn College in Texas, is the fifth junior college transfer to win the award, joining Navy's Roger Staubach (1963), USC's O.J. Simpson (1968), Nebraska's Mike Rozier (1983) and Ward (1993). "You have good ideas of what you'd love them to be," Chizik said. "But I can’t say a year ago that I thought we’d be sitting here." If not for the recruiting scandal that dogged him in the last month, Newton's win could have been historic. He was left off 105 voters' ballots. Of the voters who did include Newton, 93 percent of them had the quarterback first. Smith set the record by getting 86 percent of the firstplace votes in 2006. Newton's awards haul this postseason has been impressive. Earlier this week in Orlando, Fla., he swept three major national awards: the Walter Camp (national player of the year), Davey O'Brien (top quarterback) and Maxwell (best all-around player). He was also named SEC Offensive Player of the Year by both the coaches and Associated Press. A dual-threat quarterback, Newton had one of the most statistically impressive seasons in recent memory. He threw for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns, ran for 1,409 yards and 20 more scores and even caught a touchdown pass. He is one of three players in NCAA history to throw for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 touchdowns in the same season, joining Florida's Tim Tebow (2007) and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick (2010). Newton became the first player in SEC history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season.


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Newton Named Sporting News Player Of The Year; Fairley Also Makes AllAmerica First Team he Sporting News named Auburn quarterback Cam Newton its player of the year Wednesday, while defensive tackle Nick Fairley also made the first team.

T

The Tigers were one of four schools with two representatives on the Sporting News’ first team, joining LSU, Oregon and Wisconsin. Newton and Fairley both made four of the five lists the NCAA uses to determine consensus All-Americans. Newton was a first-team choice by the American Football Coaches Association, the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press. He was left off by the Football Writers Association of America. The Heisman Trophy winner was previously named Walter Camp Player of the Year. Fairley was a first-team selection by Walter Camp, the FWAA and the AP, failing to make the AFCA list. Left tackle Lee Ziemba is Auburn’s other consensus All-American candidate, being selected to the AFCA, Walter Camp and FWAA teams. It’s the most All-Americans Auburn has had since 2004, when four players — Carlos Rogers, Junior Rosegreen, Carnell Williams and Marcus McNeill — received recognition from at least one outlet. McNeill was Auburn’s last consensus All-American in 2005. The Dec. 20 issue of Sporting News magazine will feature Newton on the cover. Here's the full Sporting News All-America team: Offense QB Cam Newton, Jr., Auburn RB LaMichael James, Soph., Oregon RB Jordan Todman, Jr., Connecticut WR Justin Blackmon, Soph., Oklahoma State WR Ryan Broyles, Jr., Oklahoma TE Lance Kendricks, Sr., Wisconsin OL Jake Kirkpatrick, Sr., TCU

OL Rodney Hudson, Sr., Florida State OL Chase Beeler, Sr., Stanford OL Gabe Carimi, Sr., Wisconsin OL Nate Solder, Sr., Colorado K Josh Jasper, Sr., LSU KR Eric Page, Soph., Toledo Defense DT Nick Fairley, Jr., Auburn DE Ryan Kerrigan, Sr., Purdue DE Da’Quan Bowers, Jr., Clemson DT Stephen Paea, Sr., Oregon State LB Luke Kuechly, Soph., Boston College LB Greg Jones, Sr., Michigan State LB Vontaze Burfict, Soph., Arizona State CB Patrick Peterson, Jr., LSU CB Prince Amukamara, Sr., Nebraska S Rahim Moore, Jr., UCLA S Robert Sands, Jr., West Virginia P Chas Henry, Sr., Florida PR Cliff Harris, Soph., Oregon UPDATE: In other award news Wednesday, Auburn running back Mike Dyer was named a second-team Freshman AllAmerican by CollegeFootballnews.com. Dyer was previously named to the SEC All-Freshman team.


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Nick Fairley, Lee Ziemba Named To FWAA All-America Team; Cam Newton Left Off wo Auburn Tigers made the Football Writers Association of America's All-American team, but the one who will win the Heisman Trophy tonight wasn't one of

T them.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley and left tackle Lee Ziemba both made the team, while quarterback Cam Newton was beaten out for the quarterback spot by Boise State's Kellen Moore. Here are Auburn's writeups on Fairley and Ziemba: Fairley leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a school record 21 tackles for loss, and also ranks second in the league with 10.5 quarterback sacks. Fairley, who was named SEC Defensive Player or Defensive Lineman of the Week five times this season, is fifth on the team with 55 tackles this year, and has also recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble, intercepted a pass and has 21 quarterback hurries. He was named the winner of the Rotary Lombardi Award as the nation’s top collegiate offensive or defensive lineman. Ziemba has started all 51 games since arriving at Auburn during his true freshman year, setting a school record for total starts and consecutive starts. This season he helped Auburn's record-setting offense lead the SEC in scoring offense (42.7), total offense (497.7), rushing offense (287.2) and first downs (24.3). The Tigers rushed for more than 300 yards against six consecutive SEC opponents for the first time in school history, and have scored at least 50 points a school-record six times this season. Here's the full team: OFFENSE QB Kellen Moore, Boise State 6-0 191 Jr. Prosser, Wash. B LaMichael James, Oregon 59 185 So. Texarkana, Texas

B Denard Robinson, Michigan 6-0 188 So. Deerfield Beach, Fla. WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State 6-1 207 So. Ardmore, Okla. WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma 5-11 183 Jr. Norman, Okla. WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina 6-4 233 So. St. Matthews, S.C. OL Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin 6-7 327 Sr. Cottage Grove, Wis. OL Rodney Hudson, Florida State 6-2 282 Sr. Mobile, Ala. OL Nate Solder, Colorado 6-9 315 Sr. Buena Vista, Colo. OL Lee Ziemba, Auburn 6-8 319 Sr. Rogers, Ark. C Mike Brewster, Ohio State 6-5 293 Jr. Orlando, Fla. DEFENSE DL Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson 6-4 275 Jr. Bamberg, S.C. DL Wayne Daniels, TCU 6-2 250 Sr. Kilgore, Texas DL Nick Fairley, Auburn 6-5 298 Jr. Mobile, Ala. DL Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue 6-4 263 Sr. Muncie, Ind. LB Justin Houston, Georgia 6-3 258 Jr. Statesboro, Ga. LB Greg Jones, Michigan State 6-1 240 Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College 6-3 235 So. Cincinnati, Ohio DB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska 6-1 205 Sr. Glendale, Ariz. DB Mark Barron, Alabama 6-2 210 Jr. Mobile, Ala. DB Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State 6-0 190 Sr. Clermont, Fla. DB Patrick Peterson, LSU 6-1 222 Jr. Pompano Beach, Fla. SPECIAL TEAMS K Josh Jasper, LSU 5-11 171 Sr. Memphis, Tenn. P Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State 6-1 194 So. Mansfield, Texas RS Cliff Harris, Oregon 5-11 180 So. Fresno, Calif.


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Auburn'ss Cam Newton, Auburn' on, Nick Fairley Are First-Team AP All-Americans Alabama, Georgia players on 2nd team By ANDY BITTER UBURN, Ala. -- Auburn’s top two players were recognized as such when the Associated Press released its All-America team Tuesday.

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Quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley, the AP’s SEC offensive and defensive players of the year earned first-team All-America recognition from the news service. Newton and Fairley are now consensus All-Americans, having been named to three of the five lists used by the NCAA to determine the such recognition. The Sporting News is the only one of the five yet to name its All-America squad. It will do so Dec. 20. Auburn is one of five teams to have two players make the AP’s first team, joining Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nineteen SEC players made one of the three AP teams, with five getting first-team honors. Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb is an all-purpose selection, while LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson and Florida punter Chas Henry also made the first team. Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, accounted for a nation-best 49 touchdowns this season, setting Auburn single-season records for touchdowns passing (28) and rushing (20). He also was named a first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Foundation. Fairley, who won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman, led the SEC in tackles for a loss (21) and sacks (10.5). He made the Walter Camp and Football Writers Association of America first teams. Newton and Fairley also made Sports Illustrated’s All-America team, joined by left tackle Lee Ziemba, who was a secondteam AP pick. Auburn center Ryan Pugh is a third-team AP selection and an honorable mention on the SI team. Alabama had four players make the AP teams. Wide receiver Julio Jones and safety Mark Barron are second-team selec140

tions; guard Barrett Jones and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus made the third team. Barron also is a second-team pick on the SI team. Quarterback Greg McElroy was an honorable mention. Georgia has two players on the AP’s second team: linebacker Justin Houston and punter Drew Butler. Houston, wide receiver A.J. Green, Butler and place-kicker Blair Walsh were SI honorable mentions. ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-AMERICA TEAMS FIRST TEAM OFFENSE Quarterback -- Cam Newton, junior, 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Auburn. Running backs -- LaMichael James, sophomore, 5-9, 185, Oregon; Kendall Hunter, junior, 5-9, 200, Oklahoma State. Tackles -- Gabe Carimi, senior, 6-7, 327, Wisconsin; Nate Solder, senior, 6-9, 315, Colorado. Guards -- Rodney Hudson, senior, 6-2, 282, Florida State; John Moffitt, senior, 6-5, 323, Wisconsin. Center -- Chase Beeler, senior, 6-3, 285, Stanford. Tight end -- Michael Egnew, junior, 6-6, 235, Missouri. Wide receivers -- Justin Blackmon, sophomore, 6-1, 205, Oklahoma State; Ryan Broyles, junior, 5-11, 183, Oklahoma. All-purpose player -- Randall Cobb, junior, 5-11, 186, Kentucky. Kicker -- Alex Henery, senior, 6-2, 175, Nebraska. DEFENSE Ends -- Da’Quan Bowers, junior, 6-4, 275, Clemson; Ryan Kerrigan, senior, 6-4, 263, Purdue. Tackles -- Nick Fairley, junior, 6-5, 298, Auburn; Stephen Paea, senior, 6-1, 311, Oregon State. Linebackers -- Luke Kuechly, sophomore, 6-3, 235, Boston College; Greg Jones, senior, 6-1, 240, Michigan State; Von Miller, senior, 6-3, 243, Texas A&M. Cornerbacks -- Patrick Peterson, junior, 6-1, 222, LSU; Prince Amukamara, senior, 6-1, 205, Nebraska. Safeties -- Tejay Johnson, senior, 6-1, 212, TCU; Quinton Carter, senior, 6-1, 200, Oklahoma. Punter -- Chas Henry, junior, 6-3, 222, Florida. SECOND TEAM OFFENSE Quarterback -- Andrew Luck, sophomore, Stanford. Running backs -- Jordan Todman, junior, Connecticut; Mikel Leshoure, junior, Illinois. Tackles -- Lee Ziemba, senior, Auburn; Derek Sherrod, senior, Mississippi State. Guards -- Stefen Wisniewski, senior, Penn State; Justin Boren, senior, Ohio State.

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Center -- Jake Kirkpatrick, senior, TCU. Tight end -- Lance Kendricks, senior, Wisconsin. Wide receivers -- Alshon Jeffrey, sophomore, South Carolina; Julio Jones, junior, Alabama. All-purpose player -- Damaris Johnson, junior, Tulsa. Kicker -- Dan Bailey, senior, Oklahoma State. DEFENSE Ends -- J.J. Watt, junior, Wisconsin; Jeremy Beal, senior, Oklahoma. Tackles -- Drake Nevis, senior, LSU; Jared Crick, junior, Nebraska. Linebackers -- Tank Carder, junior, TCU; Justin Houston, junior, Georgia; Lavonte David, junior, Nebraska. Cornerbacks -- Jayron Hosley, sophomore, Virginia Tech; Cliff Harris, sophomore, Oregon. Safeties -- Mark Barron, junior, Alabama; Ahmad Black, senior, Florida. Punter -- Drew Butler, junior, Georgia.

State; Marcell Dareus, junior, Alabama. Linebackers -- Mason Foster, senior, Washington; Nate Irving, senior, North Carolina State; Akeem Ayers, junior, UCLA. Cornerbacks -- Reggie Rembert, senior, Air Force; Stephon Gilmore, freshman, South Carolina. Safeties -- Rahim Moore, junior, UCLA; Eric Hagg, senior, Nebraska. Punter -- Kyle Martens, junior, Rice.

THIRD TEAM OFFENSE Quarterback -- Kellen Moore, junior, Boise State. Running backs -- Vai Taua, senior, Nevada; John Clay, junior, Wisconsin. Tackles -- Anthony Castonzo, senior, Boston College; Nate Potter, junior, Boise State. Guards -- Barrett Jones, sophomore, Alabama; Caleb, Schlauderaff, senior, Utah. Center -- Ryan Pugh, senior, Auburn. Tight end -- D.J. Williams, senior, Arkansas. Wide receivers -- Greg Salas, sophomore, Hawaii; Titus Young, senior, Boise State. All-purpose player -- Denard Robinson, sophomore, Michigan. Kicker -- Dannny Hrapmann, junior, Southern Mississippi. DEFENSE Ends -- Adrian Clayborn, senior, Iowa; Sam Acho, senior, Texas. Tackles -- Billy Winn, junior, Boise

All In: Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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Chizik Named AFCAA Region 2 Coach Of The Year Ch uburn head coach Gene Chizik is up for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award today, but he won a regional honor Monday afternoon.

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Chizik was named American Football Coaches Association Region 2 Coach of the Year. Chizik led the Tigers to a 13-0 record this year and a berth in the BCS title game. He is 21-5 in two years with Auburn.

Chizik Chiz ik has al alrea ready dy ear earned ned $600K in bonu onuses ses,, can make $75 7500K mor oree by en endd of seas eason on uburn head coach Gene Chizik is adding quite a haul of bonuses to his $2.1 million annual salary. Ahh, the beauty of a performance-based contract.

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Chizik has already added $600,000 to his annual salary. Here's a breakdown: $150,000 — Season with 13 victories $100,000 — Playing in SEC championship game $200,000 — Winning SEC championship game $50,000 — Playing in an BCS bowl game $100,000 — Being named SEC Coach of the Year He might not be done yet, though. Chizik has a chance to add $750,000 more in bonuses by the middle of January. Here's a look at what he can still earn: $50,000 — Additional money for reaching 14 victories $100,000 — Being ranked in the top-five in the either poll after BCS title game $100,000 — Being named National Coach of the Year $500,000 — Winning a national championship Chizik is also eligible for a bonus of $25,000, $50,000 or $75,000 based on the team's Academic Progress Rate. Those are released in June. He can also earn a performance-based bonuses "to be awarded at the University's discretion," according to his contract. I'm guessing once all is said and done this season, both he and Auburn will probably look at renegotiating the whole thing.

The AFCA recognizes five regional coaches of the year in each division. The winners will be recognized at the 2010 AFCA Convention in Dallas on Jan. 11, when the AFCA Coach of the Year will be announced.


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Malzahnn Wins Bro Malzah royles yles Awar Awardd As Top Assistant uburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was named the 2010 winner of the Frank Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.

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He received the award at a luncheon in Little Rock, Ark., this afternoon. Malzahn's Tigers are seventh nationally in total yards (497.7 ypg), sixth in rushing (287.2 ypg) and sixth in scoring (42.7 ypg). Malzahn is Auburn's second winner of the award. Current head coach Gene Chizik won the award in 2004 as the Tigers' defensive coordinator.

Malzahn's Meticulousness Pays Off For Tigers Offensive guru has already helped Auburn set school record for points in a season By Andy Bitter UBURN, Ala. -- His system is fast, but on the field during the pre-game, Gus Malzahn is slow and meticulous.

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Malzahn, the man in charge, has been called a number of things: a guru, a mad scientist, a wizard as an offensive gameplanner.

Auburn’s second-year offensive coordinator is in his own little world as he walks every inch of the field, pacing up and down the yard lines while inspecting each blade of grass, a thousand football thoughts no doubt racing through his head.

But there’s no magic to his success. It’s grounded in preparation -- tedious, mind-numbing, exhaustive preparation.

“His football mind doesn’t have an off switch,” offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said. “His mind is always on. That’s one of the things that makes him great. He’s so driven toward success and so focused in his approach.” Once derided for his recent background as a high school coach, Malzahn, one of the hottest coaching commodities currently in the college game, is not hearing those kind of insults now. The system many said would never work against the athletic defenses of the SEC currently ranks sixth nationally in total yards. With three games remaining, Auburn has already set the school record for points in a season (471) and is poised to be only the fourth SEC team in the last decade to average more than 40 points a game for a season.

“We do more walkthroughs than anybody in America, to the point where the players probably get a little burnt out,” wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said. “They know what to do. He takes pride in alignment, assignment and effort. Those three things we hammer home to our guys. They go into each game prepared.” Even the so-called gadget plays Malzahn runs aren’t done haphazardly. The reverses, the double passes, the flea flickers, the wraparound handoffs -- Auburn practices them exhaustively, to the point that they become routine, even if Malzahn only uses them once a month. “He studies the game,” head coach Gene Chizik said. “He’s as hard a worker as I’ve ever been around. … That’s why he is very successful: a lot of attention to details and things that matter.”


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Pg 144: couple- Brooks Forehand, Priorities- Jeremy Feltracco, Team Huddle- Brooke Mansfield, Two girls- Sparkler Cottage Photography, Two small girls- Robin Trimarchi Pg 145: little boy looking over field-Marcy Carter, Flags-Marcy Carter, Boy with All In- Lori DAuria McBride, Boy in front of van- Michele Hardesty Strickland, Marching band- Tony Walker


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Auburn running back Michael Dyer outruns Oregon defender Zac Clark on a key play in the fourth quarter


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BCS

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

AP RANK

AUBURN 2 OREGON 1

AP RANK

22 19

1.10.2011 | University of Phoenix Stadium | Glendale, AZ


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BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Perfect Ending For Auburn As Tigers Win Their Second National Championship Wes Byrum’s 19-yard field goal clinches victory over Oregon By ANDY BITTER LENDALE, Ariz. -- Auburn’s 53-year wait is finally over.

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The Tigers ended a half century national championship drought Monday night, ironically enough in the desert, when place-kicker Wes Byrum split the uprights with an 19-yard field goal as time expired, lifting No. 1 Auburn to a 22-19 win against No. 2 Oregon before 78,603 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Orange and blue confetti rained from the ceiling as Auburn’s players and coaches poured onto the field to celebrate the school’s 14-0 season and first national championship since 1957. “Fifty-three years, baby! This is for you,” Tigers coach Gene Chizik shouted to fans afterward. “War Eagle!” Byrum’s kick capped the program’s remarkable turnaround under Chizik, who took a downtrodden team that went 5-7 in Tommy Tuberville’s final season to the top of the college football world in two short years. It also ended three decades of frustration for Auburn fans, who experienced several near championship seasons. The 1983 team went 11-1 but was voted No. 3 behind one-loss Miami and Nebraska. The Tigers went undefeated in both 1993 and 2004 but were denied their shot at the playing for the national title, the first time because of NCAA sanctions, the second due to a BCS snub. This year’s team removed all doubt about who was No. 1, running the SEC gauntlet and emerging as the conference’s fifth straight BCS national champion. “Anything is possible,” said Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton, who played through a back injury to finish with 265 passing yards, 64 rushing yards and 148

two touchdown passes. “I guarantee that five or six months ago nobody would have said that Auburn University is going to win the national championship. Now, on Jan. 10, 2011, we can say we did it.” Auburn’s win is sure to be talked about for years, and not just for its thrilling finish. The Tigers’ championship will undoubtedly come under fire as a result of the Newton recruiting scandal that dominated headlines for close to a month. Although both he and Auburn were cleared of wrongdoing, Newton knows the Tigers won’t garner much sympathy. “Throughout this year, ain’t nobody feel sorry for Auburn,” said Newton, who swooped in from junior college a year ago to become the 14th player to win the Heisman and national title in the same season. “And we got the last laugh.” In typical fashion, the Tigers didn’t decide things until the very end. Oregon (12-1) looked left for dead late in the game, its high-powered offense, like Auburn’s for most of the night, looking oddly out of sorts in what turned out to be an unexpected defensive battle. The Ducks, who led the nation scoring 49.2 points per game, finished 30 points below their season average. Oregon’s vaunted rushing attack was held to only 75 yards after averaging 303.5 during its first 12 games.

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run un to the National Championship


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Auburn players celebrate after winning the national championship by defeating Oregon 22-19

Auburn tackle Nick Fairley, who took defensive MVP honors after finishing with three tackles for a loss and a forced fumble, thought it was about time the defense got its due.

Eight plays later, LaMichael James, the nation’s leading rusher, scored on a 2-yard run. Quarterback Darron Thomas’ two-point conversion pass to Jeff Maehl tied the game at 19 with 2:33 on the clock.

"Our defense, we showed America everything we done each and every Saturday out there on the field," he said. "We just went unnoticed throughout the year."

But it was too much time to leave the Tigers, who revved up their version of a the two-minute offense in a moment’s notice. Newton started the drive with a 15-yard pass to Emory Blake before freshman running back Mike Dyer reeled off a 37-yard run, keeping his balance near the line of scrimmage by propping himself up on a Ducks defender, then racing down the field.

But, trailing 19-11 and having just punted back to Auburn, Oregon got the break it needed. With 4:50 remaining, Ducks linebacker Casey Matthews popped Newton on a running play, jarring the ball loose for teammate Cliff Harris to fall on at the Auburn 40. It was Newton’s second lost fumble all season.

“At the time I wasn’t really sure (if I was down),” Dyer said of the play, which was upheld by replay. “All I knew was the whistle wasn’t blowing and my coach was saying, ‘Go.’

All In In: Aub ubu urn’s ’s Ru Run to the National tional Cham Championshi ship p

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Dyer, who ran for 144 yards to earn MVP honors despite not playing in the first quarter, nearly put a touchdown capper on the game, busting up the middle for a 17-yard run that ended up with him in the end zone with only 10 seconds remaining. Replay showed that he was down at the 1.

Auburn's Zac Etheridge celebrates after coming up with an interception in the first half

After a kneeldown took the clock down to two seconds, on came Byrum, who famously did the Gator chomp after a game-winning kick at Florida as a freshman. He has an ever better tale to tell now, capping his college career with his sixth game-winner. “We know without question when the game comes down to the end, wherever we put that ball within reason, he is going to make it,” Chizik said. “And there was no question in our mind today.” Afterward, Chizik was still taking in the entire night. “I’m not sure if 15 weeks ago anyone believed that we could do this except us,” he said. “We said that we wanted to go from good to great. And I can sit here tonight and I can tell you that the Auburn Tigers are the best football team in the United States.”

Darvin Adams, left, and Michael Dyer, right, celebrate after Dyer carried the ball to the 1-yard-line to help set up their final field goal


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Kodi Burns runs into the end zone to score Auburn's first touchdown


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Auburn' Au burn'ss Win One For The Ages By GUERRY CLEGG Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

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take pit stops. Auburn and Oregon don’t pit stop. They just slow down just long enough to look to the sidelines for the next play.

As they have done 13 times before this season, the Auburn Tigers stormed down toward their student section Monday night moments before the fourth quarter. It’s obviously become a good luck charm of sorts, for each time it led to victory.

Go-go-go.

LENDALE, Ariz. --

The message to the fans is clear: The fourth quarter belongs to us.

The first half might have disappointed those wanting 80 points in the first 30 minutes. A scoreless first quarter can be thanked for that. But the pace was every bit as frenetic as expected. The four scoring drives totaled - TOTALED! eight minutes and one second. That’s one drive for most teams.

This time, though, it took on new meaning:

And it only got faster and faster as the game blurred on.

Just fifteen more minutes to victory.

The game’s first scoring possession, resulting in an Oregon field goal, took an eternal three minutes and six seconds.

Just fifteen more minutes to ending 53 years of waiting. Auburn needed a mere 2:13 to answer with a touchdown. Just fifteen more minutes to claim their first national championship since Eisenhower was president. Most of the players’ parents probably weren’t even born the last time Auburn won a national championship - 1957. Just fifteen more minutes? No, fifteen long, agonizing, torturous minutes. The Tigers clung to an eight-point lead over Oregon in this BCS national championship game. But fifteen minutes is an eternity against these Ducks, who need a play clock like they need more uniforms. Hurry-hurry-hurry. Faster-faster-faster. Tempo-tempo-tempo. This wasn’t just football. It was fastbreak basketball on grass. Auburn and Oregon push the ball downfield at 4G speed. Maybe AT&T and Verizon should have bought out Tostitos as title sponsors. Speed-speed-speed. Who’s running the controls for these teams, any way Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin? No, wait. At least they

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Oregon said, “Eh, that’s nothing. Watch this.” Sixty-two seconds, touchdown. It’s somewhat ironic that Auburn decided to slow things down a bit, grinding out 68 yards over seven minutes and nine seconds. Yet it resulted in nothing, as Eric Smith dropped a low pass from Cam Newton in the end zone. But the Tigers did produce another touchdown drive, this one in 1:40. So that’s three touchdown drives in less than five minutes. Yet, this was not the desert shootout everyone expected of two teams that came into the game averaging 90 points and more than 1,000 yards between them. But the pace was every bit as frantic as advertised. One thing the Tigers couldn’t hurry was the clock. A fumble by Cam Newton who for once this season seemed human - gave Oregon the ball at its 45 yard line with just under five minutes. Quickly - of course - the Ducks were standing 11 yards from the end zone, needing a touchdown and two-point play to tie it. Just as quickly, LaMichael James squeezed into the corner of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 19-17. The Ducks had already gone for two and made it earlier in the game. This time, they had no choice. Darron Thomas ran right and threw back over the middle of the end zone

All In: Auburn’ Auburn’s s Run to the National Championship


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and hit Jeff Maehl for the tying score. Now, time stood still. The Tigers had just two and half minutes to go the length of the field for a chance. Then came perhaps the most bizarre play in BCS championship game history. Michael Dyer ran around right end and was met by Oregon’s Eddie Pleasant. But as Pleasant tried to make an arm-tackle, Dyer rolled over Pleasant and never touched the ground. He sprang up, listened for a whistle, then took off. Thirty-seven yards down to the Oregon 23. Another Dyer run gave Auburn first-and-goal from the 1 with 10 seconds to play. Fifty-three years reduced to 10 gut-wrenching seconds. Would it be a bad snap? A botched hold? A block? A shank. Every catastrophic scenario imaginable undoubtedly crossed the minds of the 40,000 or so Auburn fans who made this pilgrimage to witness history. Wes Byrum’s 19-yard field goal pierced the uprights as time expired. Suddenly, the clock didn’t matter any more. The only numbers on the scoreboard that mattered now were the ones in the left column: AU 22 O 19

Auburn kicker Wes Byrum reacts after kicking the winning field goal


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3RD

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1ST

2ND

4TH

FINAL

AUBURN

0

16 3

3

22

OREGON

0 11 0

8

19

2ND QUARTER ORE AU ORE AU AU

Beard 26 yd field goal Burns 35 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick) James 8 yd pass from Thomas (Beard, rush) Blanc Safety Blake 30 yd pass from Newton (Byrum kick)

14:13 12:00 10:58 3:26 1:47

3RD QUARTER AU

Byrum 28 yd field goal

11:30

4TH QUARTER ORE AU

James 2 yd pass from Thomas (Maehl pass from Thomas) 2:33 Byrum 19 yd field goal 0:00

STATISTICS FIRST DOWNS RUSHES-YARDS PASSING YDS (NET) PASSES COMP-ATT-INT PUNT RETURN-YARDS KICKOFF RETURN-YARDS

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23 32-75 374 28-41-2 3-6-0 4-65-0 INTERCEPTION RETURNS-YDS 1-22-0 PUNTS-AVG. 5-36.8 FUMBLES-LOST 1-0 PENALTIES-YARDS 6-37 TIME OF POSSESSION 27:03 3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS 5 of 15 4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 2 of 3 RED-ZONE SCORES-CHANCES 3-5

AU 28 50-254 265 20-35-1 0-0-0 5-92-0 2-1-0 5-40.4 2-1 5-47 32:57 9 of 17 0 of 1 2-3

“I guarantee that five or six months ago nobody would have said that Auburn University is going to win the national championship. Now, on Jan. 10, 2011, we can say we did it.” - Cam Newton

Auburn cornerback T'Sharvan Bell celebrates Auburn's safety in the first half


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Auburn quarterback Cam Newton throws a pass early in the third quarter

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING Dyer Newton McCalebb

22-143 22-64 6-47

PASSING Newton 20-34-1-265

AUBURN RECEIVING Zachery Adams Blake Lutzenkirchen McCalebb Burns Fannin

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING 6-48 James 13-49 4-54 Barner 11-32 4-54 Thomas 8-(-6) 2-48 2-10 PASSING 1-35 Thomas 27-40-2-363 1-16 Rice 1-1-0-11

OREGON RECEIVING Maehl Davis James Tuinei Paulson Barner Johnson

All In In:: Aubu urn rn’s ’s Ru Run n to the Na National tional Cham Champio pion nshi ship p

9-133 6-60 4-39 3-75 3-48 2-8 1-11

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Auburn' Au burn'ss Defe Defens nsee Steps To An Another other Level By ANDY BITTER LENDALE, Ariz. — Josh Bynes felt slighted. Auburn's whole defense did.

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The buildup to Monday's BCS national championship game focused almost completely around the two high-powered, fast-paced offenses. "They hadn't shown one defensive highlight throughout the week," Bynes said. "So what does that tell us as a defense? We got to play at another level." Auburn showed exactly what it was capable of at University of Phoenix Stadium, turning in its best effort of the year in a 22-19 win against Oregon.

The Tigers held the Ducks to 30 points below their season average of 49.2, which led the nation entering Monday night. It was only the second time all year Oregon scored fewer than 37 points. "I cannot be more proud of our defense," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "For one month our defense was bound and determined to show up here tonight and and play the best game of their life." It started by stuffing the running game. The Ducks averaged 303.8 yards per game entering the night, fourth most in the country. But Auburn's rushing defense — no slouch itself, ranked 11th nationally — was up the challenge, holding Oregon to just 75 yards on the ground.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley sacks Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas in the first half

"They came up, had a good plan for us," said Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas, who threw for 363 yards but finished with minus-6 rushing yards. "They mixed it up a lot. Sometimes the defensive end was crashing or sitting on it, but they came out with a good plan. Hats off to their defense." Oregon's LaMichael James, the nation's leading rusher and Doak Walker Award winner, finished with 49 yards on 13 carries, averaging only 3.8 yards per carry. His backup, Kenjon Barner, finished with only 32 yards, getting stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line midway through the third quarter. Auburn did it by living


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in Oregon's backfield. The Tigers had 11 tackles for a loss, getting pressure up the middle mostly from its defensive line, which kept up with the Ducks' smaller but nimble offensive line. The Tigers negated the advantage with tireless preparation, which included extra conditioning sessions and getting its scout team to rattle off plays as quickly as nine seconds between snaps. "I think (defensive line) coach (Tracy) Rocker did a great job with the D-line getting ready for this tempo with the get offs and the jump ropes we all practiced," defensive tackle Nick Fairley said. "We probably did like 2,000 jump ropes the whole time we was off. They were tired, I was tired. We were just going to see who hit who in the mouth last." Fairley, who might have played his final game at Auburn, certainly left a lasting legacy, finishing with three tackles for a loss and forcing a fumble to earn defensive MVP honors. "They got a great front four," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. "Nick Fairley proved he was the best defensive lineman in the country. It was a tough matchup for us." How good was Auburn's defense? The Ducks had been held scoreless in only five quarters all season. Auburn held them scoreless in two quarters Monday night. For a defense that has long been criticized as not being national championship worthy, it was a sweet ending. "You talk about the word respond," Chizik said. "They responded today. One of the reasons we will be able to wear that ring is because of how well they played, these guys right here."

For Good Luck, Family Takes Special Keepsake To Championship Game By JIM MUSTIAN or Nancy Weekley and her family, Auburn winning the national championship has a familiar ring to it one they think could bring good luck as the Tigers take on the Oregon Ducks in Glendale, Ariz.

F

Weekley’s late husband, Columbus native Jeff Weekley, played for the Tigers in 1957 and earned a championship ring after the team went undefeated. After battling a rare cancer for 14 years, Jeff Weekley died in 1987, and his family donated the ring to the university’s museum, where it has remained on display. In 2007, the Weekley family received a commemorative ring from the university to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the championship team, said Jeff Weekley’s daughter, Nan Konze. From that point on, Nancy Weekley wore the ring around her neck to each home game. The family began the tradition of rubbing the ring before kickoff, and even fans in surrounding rows have partaken in the ritual. But for Monday’s game, the family has turned to the real McCoy. “While visiting Auburn on Thursday, I asked if I could get the ring from the display and take it with our family to the BCS game,” Konze said in an e-mail. “They were thrilled to share it, and our family will now wear it in Arizona.” Instead of rubbing the replica, four members of the Columbus family will take turns wearing the ring - each for one quarter. “We’ve got deep Auburn ties,” Nancy Weekley said. “It would be wonderful to bring home another ring.”


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2010 Aub Auburn urn Foo oottba ballll Rost oster er No. 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 8 9 9 10 11 12 13 14 14 15 15 16 17 17 18 18 19 20 21 22 23 23 24 25 26 27 28 28 29 30 30 31 32 33 35 35 35 36 37 38 38 39 40 40 41 42 43 44 45 45 46 47 47 48 48 49 50 51 52 53 54

Name Trovon Reed Cam Newton Aairon Savage DeAngelo Benton Shaun Kitchens Zac Etheridge Michael Dyer Jake Holland Jonathon Mincy Antonio Goodwin Anthony Morgan Quindarius Carr Ryan White LaDarius Owens Chris Davis Demetruce McNeal Craig Sanders Barrett Trotter Demond Washington Neiko Thorpe Clint Moseley Ikeem Means Josh Bynes Ryan Shoemaker Kodi Burns Wes Byrum Neil Caudle Drew Cole Eltoro Freeman T'Sharvan Bell Onterio McCalebb Jordan Spriggs Ryan Smith Daren Bates Mike McNeil Mario Fannin Wade Christopher Anderson Mack Chandler Brooks Steven Clark Twun Bonner Trent Fisher Eric Smith Jessel Curry Jonathan Evans Dimitri Reese Jacob Kerby Cody Parkey Ladarious Phillips Jawara White Sam Brown Ralph Spry Chris Humphries Chris Otersen Robert Cooper Philip Pierre-Louis Philip Lutzenkirchen Patrick Lymon Davis Hooper Antoine Carter Craig Stevens Joey Caldwell Nathan Taylor Woody Parramore Dakota Mosley Michael Goggans Ryan Pugh Watson Downs Justin Delaine Bart Eddins Jeffrey Whitaker

Pos. WR QB DB WR WR SS RB LB S WR DB WR DB LB CB DB DE QB DB DB QB DB LB P WR K QB DB LB DB RB DB S LB S RB LB WR K P CB DB RB LB LB WR FB K FB LB WR WR LB TE TE WR TE RB RB DE LB LB WR DB TE DE OL LB DE OL DT

Ht./Wt. 6-0/181 6-6/250 5-11/200 6-2/201 6-3/217 6-0/213 5-9/215 6-0/231 5-10/180 6-1/173 5-9/185 6-1/186 5-10/186 6-2/236 5-10/182 6-1/176 6-4/248 6-2/211 5-9/182 6-2/186 6-3/223 6-0/204 6-2/235 6-0/177 6-2/207 6-2/216 6-3/198 5-11/190 5-11/225 6-0/180 5-10/171 5-9/168 6-1/183 5-11/203 6-2/208 5-11/228 6-1/223 5-11/185 6-0/180 6-5/232 5-10/180 6-0/184 5-10/240 6-1/214 5-11/230 5-10/160 6-1/222 6-0/184 6-0/291 6-1/243 6-1/202 5-10/173 6-2/224 6-3/212 6-4/226 5-8/150 6-4/258 5-10/176 6-0/207 6-4/256 6-3/229 6-1/226 5-10/188 5-8/183 6-4/259 6-3/261 6-4/297 6-0/215 6-5/232 6-5/ 232 6-4/304 6-4/ 304 6-3/308 6-3/ 308

Year FR JR SR SO FR SR FR FR FR FR SO JR FR FR FR FR FR SO SR JR RS FR SO SR SR SR SR SR JR JR SO SO FR FR SO JR SR JR FR JR FR FR FR JR FR SO FR RS FR FR FR FR JR JR JR JR RS FR SO SO FR JR SR SR SO JR SR FR SR SR SO FR SR FR

Hometown (Last School) Thibodaux, La. (Thibodaux) College Park, Ga. (Blinn College) Albany, Ga. (Westover) Bastrop, La. (Bastrop) College Park, Ga. (Banneker) Troy, Ala. (Charles Henderson) Little Rock, Ark. (LR Christian Academy) Pelham, Ala. (Pelham) Decatur, Ga. (Southwest DeKalb) Atlanta, Ga. (Booker T. Washington) Brantley, Ala. (Brantley) Huntsville, Ala. (Huntsville) Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln) Bessemer, Ala. (Jess Lanier) Birmingham, Ala. (Woodlawn) College Park, Ga. (Banneker) Clio, Ala. (Ariton) Birmingham, Ala. (Briarwood Christian) Tallassee, Ala. (Mississippi Gulf Coast JC) Tucker, Ga. (Tucker) Leroy, Ala. (Leroy) Wetumpka, Ala. (Wetumpka) Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (Boyd Anderson) Birmingham, Ala. (Oak Mountain) Fort Smith, Ark. (Northside) Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas) Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park) Picayune, Miss. (Picayune Memorial) Alexander City, Ala. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola) Fort Meade, Fla. (Fort Meade/Hargrave Military Academy) Mobile, AL (Murphy) Cordova, Ala. (Cordova) Memphis, Tenn. (Olive Branch (Miss.) Mobile, Ala. (W.P Davidson) Hampton, Ga. (Lovejoy) Vestavia Hills, Ala. (Vestavia Hills) Atlanta, GA (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Huntsville, Ala. (Grissom) Kansas City, Mo. (Park Hill) Adamsville, Ala. (Minor) Nashville, Tenn. (Christ Presbyterian Academy) Seffner, Fla. (Armwood) Buford, Ga. (Buford) Prichard, Ala. (Mattie T. Bount) Birmingham, AL (Clay-Chalkville) Demopolis, Ala. (Demopolis) Jupiter, Fla. (Jupiter) Roanoke, Ala. (Handley) Troy, Ala. (Charles Henderson) Birmingham, AL (Hewitt-Trussville) Auburn, Ala. (Minnesota) Somerville, Ala. (Brewer) Springfield, Va. (Robert E. Lee) Mobile, Ala. (Daphne) Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas) Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter) Harvest, AL (Sparkman) Montgomery, Ala. (Trinity Presbyterian) Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard) Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln) Five Points, Ala. (Handley) Fredericksburg, VA (Massaponax) Montgomery, Ala. (Trinity Presbyterian) Little Rock, Ark. (LR Christian Academy) Alexander City, Ala. (Benjamin Russell) Hoover, Ala. (Hoover) Dothan, Ala. (Houston Academy) Linden, Ala. (Li (Linden) nden) Monntg Mo tgom omer eryy, Al Ala. a. (Trin (Trinitityy Pres Presbbyte yterian rian)) War arner ner Robins Robins,, Ga Ga.. (Warner Robins)

No. 55 56 57 58 60 61 61 62 63 64 64 65 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 83 84 85 87 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 97 98

Name Corey Lemonier Ashton Richardson Byron Isom Harris Gaston Eric Mack Donnie Riggins Josh Harris Chad Slade Blake Burgess Chase Seals Forrest Hill Tunde Fariyike Jake Lembke Mike Berry Bobby Ingalls Ed Christian Ryan Preston Andre Harris John Sullen Andrew Parmer Lee Ziemba Jamar Travis Brandon Mosley Jorrell Bostrom A.J. Greene Roszell Gayden Jared Cooper Emory Blake Terrell Zachery Cameron Groce Codey Frederick Travante Stallworth Derek Winter Darvin Adams Nick Fairley Joel Bonomolo Kenneth Carter Mike Blanc Nosa Eguae Dee Ford Derrick Lykes Zach Clayton

Pos. DE LB OL LB OL OL DS OL OL OL DS OL DS OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL DL OL OL OL OL OL WR WR TE WR WR WR WR DL DE DT DL DE DE DL DL

Ht./Wt. 6-4/227 6-0/190 6-3/302 6-1/231 6-3/361 6-8/275 6-1/230 6-5/316 6-2/278 6-7/300 6-1/238 6-2/330 6-0/234 6-3/316 6-7/320 6-4/277 6-1/278 6-3/318 6-6/312 5-10/267 6-8/319 6-0/288 6-6/299 6-3/322 6-5/291 6-6/315 6-4/300 6-1/192 6-1/210 6-3/213 6-4/186 5-9/188 6-0/208 6-3/185 6-5/298 6-3/245 6-5/281 6-4/297 6-2/258 6-4/240 6-2/286 6-3/296

Year FR JR SR SO FR SO JR FR RS FR FR FR FR RS FR SR JR FR FR RS FR SO SO SR SO JR SR JR JR JR SO SR FR FR SO JR JR JR JR FR SR RS FR SO SO SR

Hometown (Last School) Hialeah, Fla. (Hialeah) New Orleans, La. (St. Michael) Jonesboro, Ga. (Lovejoy) Birmingham, Ala. (Bessemer Academy) St. Matthews, S.C. (Calhoun County) Wetumpka, AL (Holtville) Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton) Moody, Ala. (Moody) Vestavia Hills, Ala. (Vestavia Hills) Auburn, AL (Lee Scott Academy) Morrow, Ga. (Morrow) Thomaston, Ga. (Upson-Lee) New Lenox, Ill. (Providence Catholic) Antioch, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy) Gardendale, AL (Gardendale) Valdosta, Ga. (Lowndes) Oxford, AL (Oxford) Lovejoy, Ga. (Lovejoy) Auburn, Ala. (Auburn) Dalton, Ga. (Dalton) Rogers, Ark. (Rogers) Brewton, Ala. (W.S. Neal) Jefferson, Ga. (Coffeyville J.C.) Nampa, Idaho (Bakersfield C.C.) Madison, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy) New Hope, Minn. (College of Sequoias JC) Brewton, Ala. (W.S. Neal) Austin, Texas (Stephen F. Austin) Wadley, Ala. (Wadley) Gardendale, AL (Gardendale) Hamilton, AL (Hamilton) Leesville, La. (Leesville) Tampa, Fla. (Plant Senior) Canton, Miss. (Harrison) Mobile, Ala. (Copiah-Lincoln JC) Metairie, La. (Fullerton Community College) Greenville, Ala. (Greenville) Pompano Beach, Fla. (Deerfield Beach) Mansfield, Texas (Summit) Odenville, Ala. (St. Clair County) Clanton, Ala. (Chilton County) Opelika, Ala. (Opelika)

Coaches Gene Chizik - Head Coach Jay Boulware - Assistant Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Jeff Grimes - Assistant Coach/Offensive Line Phillip Lolley - Assistant Coach/Secondary Curtis Luper - Assistant Coach/Running Backs Gus Malzahn - Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Tracy Rocker - Assistant Coach/Defensive Line Ted Roof - Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Trooper Taylor - Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Tommy Thigpen - Assistant Coach/Secondary Wayne Bolt - Director of Football Relations Scott Fountain - Football Operations Coordinator Chad Lunsford - Football Operations Dir. of Scouting Ben Thomas - Director, Player Development Brent Thomas - Football Video Coordinator Kevin Yoxall - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Rev. Chette Williams - Team Chaplain Dr. James R. Andrews - Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Michael D. Goodlett - Team Physician Clark Pearson - Head Football Athletic Trainer David Walsh - Director of Plainsman Park Physical Therapy


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Gene Chizik, Head Coa Coach ch In his first year at Auburn, Gene Chizik lead the Tigers to an 8-5 record and a victory over Northwestern in the 2010 Outback Bowl. The first coach in Auburn history to lead his team to a bowl game in his first year. The two previous seasons, Chizik served as the head coach at Iowa State where he was in the midst of a rebuilding process, directing the Cyclones to a 5-19 mark. Chizik was a co-defensive coordinator at Texas for two seasons after a three-year stint as Auburn’s defensive coordinator. Prior to his arrival at Auburn, Chizik was the defensive coordinator at Central Florida for four seasons after overseeing the linebackers and secondary while at Stephen F. Austin. Chizik earned his B.A. degree in education from Florida and his M.A. in guidance and counseling from Clemson.

Gus Malzahn, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Gus Malzahn is in his second season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Malzahn was the offensive coordinator at Tulsa for two seasons. During Malzahn’s one season at Arkansas in 2006, the Razorbacks finished with a 10-4 record and were SEC West Division Champions. In 14 seasons as a high school head coach, Malzahn led seven teams to the state championship game and won three titles.

Curtis Luper, Assistant Coach/Running Backs Curtis Luper is in his second season as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Luper served as Oklahoma State’s running backs coach from 2005-2008 and as the assistant head coach for player development during his last two seasons with the Cowboys. Prior to his arrival at OSU, Luper was the running backs coach at New Mexico from 2002-04 and the secondary/assistant head coach at Texas A&M Commerce from 1999-01. Luper began his playing career at Oklahoma State, where he played from 1984-87, but his stay was interrupted from 1988 to 1992 when he served as an air traffic controller for the United States Army. He completed his eligibility at Stephen F. Austin as a second-team all-Southland Conference running back in 1993 when he led the team in rushing and scoring.

Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Ted Roof is in his first second as defensive coordinator at Auburn, and also coaches the Tigers' linebackers. A 23-year coaching veteran, Roof came to Auburn after serving as the defensive coordinator at Minnesota in 2008. Roof coached at Duke for six seasons prior to his stint at Minnesota, including four as the head coach and two as the defensive coordinator. He served as the interim head coach at Duke for five games at the conclusion of the 2003 season before being named head coach in December of 2003. From 1998-2001, Roof coached at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, where he was nominated in 2000 for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. Roof was on the staff at Massachusetts for three seasons (1994-96) and then served one season as defensive coordinator at Western Carolina (1997) before moving on to Georgia Tech. Roof, who was enshrined into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998, earned a bachelor's degree in Management in 1987.

Phillip Lolley, Assistant Coach/ Secondary A member of the Auburn staff since 1999, Phillip Lolley is in his second season as cornerbacks coach under head coach Gene Chizik. Lolley previously served as a secondary coach at Auburn from 2002-03, and was the Tigers' Director of NFL Relations for five seasons from 2004-08. A 22-year high school coach standout in the state of Alabama, Lolley served as head coach at three schools, including North Jackson High School, where he led the program to the 1993 4A state championship. A native of Butler, Ala., Lolley spent 10 years at North Jackson from 1988-98, where his teams advanced to the state playoffs each season. Lolley began his coaching career at South Choctaw Academy in 1977 before becoming the head coach at Warrior Academy in Eutaw, from 1978-82. He also served as defensive coordinator at Demopolis High School (1982-84) and head coach at Stevenson High School (1984-87). Prior to his coaching stint at Auburn, Lolley was a strength and conditioning coach on the Plains from 1999-00. Lolley, 56, received a bachelor's degree from Livingston in 1977 and a master's degree in 1981.

Trooper er Ta aylo ylor, r, Asssistan As istantt Hea Headd Coach/ Coach/W Wide Re Rece ceive ivers rs Trooper Taylor is in his second season as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Taylor was the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Oklahoma State. Taylor was receivers and running backs coach at Tennessee from 2004-2007. He came to Tennessee after coaching receivers at Tulane. Taylor played defensive back at Baylor from 1988-91 and finished his career as the school’s leader in kickoff returns (53) and return yardage (1,063). He graduated from Baylor in 1992.

Jeff Grimes, Assistant Coach/Offensive Line Jeff Grimes is in his second year as offensive line coach at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Grimes served as the assistant head coach, running game coordinator, and offensive line coach at Colorado for two seasons from 2007-08. A 17-year coaching veteran, Grimes came to CU from Brigham Young University where he coached the offensive line for three seasons. Prior to his stint at BYU, Grimes was the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Arizona State and offensive line coach at Boise State. A native of Garland, Texas, Grimes began his coaching career in 1993 as a high school coach at Riverside High School in El Paso. His first full-time position was as offensive line coach at Hardin Simmons. Grimes graduated from the University of Texas-El Paso in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He was in training camp with both the Los Angeles Raiders of the NFL and the San Antonio Riders of the World Football League before entering coaching.

Jay Boulware, Assistant Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Jay Boulware is in his second season as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Boulware served as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Iowa State for two seasons from 2007-08, and has also coached at Texas, Northern Illinois, Arizona, Stanford and Utah. He now has six years experience serving as a special teams coach, having previously overseen units at Iowa State and Utah for two years and Arizona for one season. A native of Irving, Texas, Boulware was a two-year letterman at offensive line while playing for the University of Texas. He began his coaching career at Texas, first as a student coach (1994-95) and then as a graduate assistant (1996).

Tracy Rocker, Assistant Coach/ Defensive Line Former Auburn All-American Tracy Rocker is in his second season as the defensive line coach at Auburn. Rocker, who won the 1988 Outland and Lombardi Trophies while playing for Auburn, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame by the National Football Foundation in December, 2004, in New York City, and was inducted into Alabama's state Sports Hall of Fame in the summer of 2005. Rocker spent the 2008 season as the defensive line coach at Ole Miss and previously served in the same capacity at Arkansas for five seasons. Rocker, 42, joined Arkansas' staff after one year at Cincinnati where he helped the Bearcats win a share of the 2002 Conference USA title. Prior to his stint at Cincinnati, Rocker spent five seasons as the defensive line coach at Troy State University in Troy, Ala. A third-round pick of the Washington Redskins in the 1989 NFL Draft, Rocker went on to play two seasons with the Redskins and was selected to the NFL All-Rookie team in 1990.

Tommy Thigpen, Assistant Coach/Secondary Tommy Thigpen is in his second season as the safeties coach at Auburn. Prior to coming to Auburn, Thigpen coached the linebackers at North Carolina for four seasons from 2005-08. A former All-ACC linebacker at North Carolina himself, Thigpen tutored UNC's leading tacklers in each of his four seasons at Chapel Hill. Thigpen coached for two years at Illinois, serving as the cornerbacks coach in 2003 and the linebackers coach in 2004. A four-year letter winner at North Carolina from 1989-92, Thigpen was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker, earning first-team honors in 1991. He was co-captain of the 1992 team that went 9-3 were Peach Bowl champions. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Carolina. Thigpen played professionally for the New York Giants in 1993-94 and the Barcelona Dragons in 1995-96.

Information From Auburn University


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Auburn’s Run to the National Championship

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