Sept. 4, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. -- Cameron Newton accounted for five touchdowns and 357 yards of total offense, rushing for a school-record 171 on 15 carries as a quarterback, as Auburn defeated Arkansas State, 52-26, to open up the 2010 football season. Newton, playing in his first game at Auburn, rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two others as Auburn racked up 608 yards of total offense on the night.
Auburn took a 35-16 lead into the half as Newton rushed for two scores and threw another in the first half alone, taking less than two minutes on each drive and using only 16 total plays. The two biggest gainers were a 48-yard touchdown pass to Quindarius Carr with 5:59 left in the half that put Auburn ahead 28-13 and a 71-yard touchdown run on a draw play to go up 35-16.
Newton also threw for 186 yards on the night, completing nine of 14 passes and tossing a pair of touchdowns to Mario Fannin as well as the one to Carr. Fannin's scores came on a 36-yard pass in the first quarter that gave Auburn a 14-6 lead and a 38-yard pass for Auburn's first score in the second half. Fannin finished the game with four catches for 65 yards.
Auburn trailed 6-0 after Arkansas State scored on a 10-yard pass with 5:18 left in the first quarter but blocked the point after attempt. Auburn answered when Kodi Burns ran in a three-yard score to cap a six-play, 58-yard scoring drive that took just 1:51 off the clock.
Newton's first touchdown pass to Fannin and a Newton two-yard rushing touchdown with 9:43 left in the first half put Auburn up 21-6.
Daren Bates led the Auburn defense with 10 tackles.
Newton Impresses in Auburn Win
By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- When quarterback Cam Newton walked from the bus to the stadium surrounded by screaming fans before the start of Auburn's opening game, he felt he might have a good night.
"I went deaf for a second. I just loved it and I think it was a kickoff for us mentally to know it's time," the Tigers' new quarterback said.
Making his first start, Newton ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 186 yards and three more scores to help No. 22 Auburn beat overmatched Arkansas State 52-26 on Saturday night.
Newton, a junior college transfer who started his career at Florida, brought the crowd to its feet late in the second quarter when he scored on a 71-yard touchdown run, dashing up the middle on a keeper. That made the score 35-16 at halftime.
The performance impressed both Auburn coach Gene Chizik and Arkansas State coach Steve Roberts.
"I don't know if I have seen an individual performance better than Cam Newton's. He is the best player I have ever seen live," Roberts said. "He made a huge difference in the ball game tonight -- he is hard to bring down."
Chizik said he was proud of his quarterback.
"He did some nice things when maybe something wasn't there. He turned some bad plays into good ones," Chizik said.
Newton was more critical of his performance than the coaches.
"I didn't play the best game I could have played, but I just have to watch film tomorrow and make good on my mistakes," he said.
"I just came out there and did what I can. I was just trying to get my feet wet and get a feel for the game," Carr said.
For Arkansas State, Ryan Aplin completed 28-of-42 passes for 278 yards and one score. Dwayne Frampton caught eight passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Auburn kept Arkansas State in it in the third quarter by fumbling twice in the first two minutes of the second half. The Red Wolves made it 35-23 after the first fumble on an 8-yard TD run by Derek Lawson.
Roberts said his Arkansas State team came out of the game with many things to work on.
"We need to finish some plays and drives. We need to put the ball in the end zone more than we did. I am pleased with the way we moved the ball," Roberts said.
Auburn played without linebacker Craig Stevens, the second-leading tackler for the Tigers last season. Chizik said Stevens was suspended for the game for disciplinary reasons, but he would not say what Stevens did wrong.
The Red Wolves took a 6-0 lead at 5:18 in the first quarter on a 10-yard pass from Ryan Aplin to Dwayne Frampton. The score was set up by a 61-yard completion down the sideline from Aplin to Allen Muse.
Then Newton got into gear, leading Auburn on a scoring drive that ended on a 3-yard scoring run by Kodi Burns, a former quarterback. The next time the Tigers got the ball, it took Newton just one play to find the end zone as he hit Mario Fannin with a 36-yard scoring pass.
Newton also scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 48-yard TD pass to Quindarius Carr.
The Red Wolves scored in the second quarter on a 13-yard run by Jermaine Robertson and a 26-yard field goal by Brian Davis.