Oct. 30, 2010
OXFORD, Miss. -- Michael Dyer rushed for a career high 180 yards and a touchdown while Cam Newton accounted for 274 yards total offense and three touchdowns, throwing for two and catching another, to lead BCS No. 1 Auburn to a 51-31 victory over Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday.
Dyer rushed for the third highest freshman total in Auburn history while the Tigers rolled up 572 yards total offense.
"It was great to see Michael have a breakout game," said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. "That says a lot about offensively of where we are because as I have said, it starts with the offensive line. It doesn't matter whether it is Onterio McCalebb or Cam Newton or Michael Dyer or Mario Fannin.
"We know we have to run the football. It doesn't matter who is getting them or how we are getting there and all of those type things, but we have to be able to run it. I thought tonight we ran it effectively, and Mike seemed to be the catalyst tonight."
On the second play of the game, Ole Miss' Jeff Scott went untouched on an 83 yard touchdown run up the right side to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead only 27 seconds into the game.
Auburn (9-0, 6-0 SEC), ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, answered as wide receiver Kodi Burns threw a perfect 20 yard pass to quarterback Cam Newton in the back right corner of the end zone to tie the game at 7-7 with 12:04 left in the first quarter. The Tigers drove 71 yards in six plays in 2:27.
On the Tigers' second possession of the game, Onterio McCalebb gave Auburn its first lead of the game as he scampered 68 yards to cap a quick 3 play, 77 yard drive for a 14-7 lead with 8:06 left in the opening period. Ole Miss (3-5, 1-4 SEC) came right back to tie it at 14-14 on a 20-yard Jeremiah Masoli pass to Markeith Summers with 5:14 left in the first on an 8 play, 80 yard drive.
On 3rd and 14 from the Ole Miss 36, Newton threw a 28 yard strike to Emory Blake. The play set up Wes Byrum's 25 yard field goal that put the Tigers ahead for good at 17-14 only 53 seconds into the second quarter. It was the Tigers' third score in as many possessions as Auburn had 225 yards total offense in the first quarter alone.
Ole Miss' Jason Jones recovered a fumble on a Newton-McCalebb exchange to set the Rebels up at the Auburn 18. Two plays later, Demond Washington intercepted Masoli at the Ole Miss 2, a play after making a huge pass breakup in the end zone.
"It was huge," said Chizik of Washington's interception, "There was no question about it. We knew they were going to throw the ball up to some of their taller receivers. They tried to get Demond matched up on a 6-foot-4 guy, and they threw the ball up.
"That was a huge momentum swing because they were down in the red zone. We did turn it over. That would have been a huge big play for them in getting this crowd back into the game, and Demond did a great job of kind of putting the fire out."
Auburn then drove 98 yards in 12 plays in 4:37 to take a 24-14 lead with 6:51 left in the half on Newton's 23 yard touchdown pass to Darvin Adams. It was Auburn's fourth drive of the season over 90 yards, and it tied for the fourth longest drive in school history.
The Rebels closed to within a touchdown at 24-17 on a Bryson Rose 32 yard field goal, but Washington returned the kickoff 95 yards to put the Tigers ahead at 31-17 with 2:26 to go. Washington set the Auburn single season kickoff return yardage record on the play, finishing with 806 yards.
On the Rebels' next possession, Auburn stopped Ole Miss on a 4th and 1 play at the Rebel 41 with 1:17 left in the half. Josh Bynes and Jonathan Evans made the huge hit on Masoli's quarterback sneak. The stop set up a 35 yard Byrum field goal with six seconds remaining that allowed Auburn to double-up Ole Miss at the half, 34-17.
By halftime, Auburn scored on five of six possessions and gained 348 yards. The Tigers scored their most first half points against an SEC opponent since 2003 when the Tigers put up 38 against Mississippi State.
Auburn took the opening kickoff of the second half and took a 37-17 lead on a 48 yard Byrum field goal, his third of the game, in 3:31 after intermission. Auburn increased its lead as Michael Dyer scored on a 38 yard touchdown run as the Tigers took a 44-17 lead with 7:47 remaining in the third. It was the Tigers' seventh score in their eighth possession of the game.
"We came out there and played hard and wanted to keep the tradition going by winning and trying to win on the road," said Dyer. "I had a good block by Eric Smith, and I read the whole and used my speed to get through it and made it to the end zone. The guys up front did a great job tonight opening up holes and made it easy to read. Cam got yards, and he was sitting back there all day to pass."
Brandon Bolden brought Ole Miss to within 44-24 on a 20 yard touchdown run with 12:28 left in the game. The Rebels then recovered a successful on-side kick at the Ole Miss 43, but the Tigers forced them into a three and out.
Newton threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Terrell Zachery as Auburn took a 51-24 lead with 4:36 remaining. Bolden scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5 yard run as Ole Miss closed out the scoring at 51-31.
Newton completed 18-of-24 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 45 yards and caught a 20 yard touchdown pass from Burns while Dyer had 21 carries for his career high 180 yards rushing and a touchdown. Adams caught a career high-tying six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown while McCalebb rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Emory Blake caught five passes for 60 yards while Zachery had five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. Washington returned five kickoffs for 176 yards, including the 95 yarder for a touchdown.
The Tigers play host to Chattanooga on Homecoming next Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium at noon. The game will be available on pay-per-view. October 30, 2010
Newton, No. 3 Auburn power past Ole Miss, 51-31OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Don't call Cam Newton a dual threat. That sells the Auburn quarterback short.
Newton flashed another skill when he lined up at receiver, streaked down the sideline and outfought a much smaller defensive back for the ball in the end zone. Touchdown, Cam.
Newton caught that 20-yard touchdown pass on the Tigers' opening series, threw for two more and the third-ranked Tigers powered past Mississippi 51-31 on Saturday night.
"We practice that play a lot of times," said Newton, the apparent Heisman Trophy front-runner. "Coach (Gus Malzahn) challenged me, that he was going to call it this game because of what we've seen throughout the week in the film. This was a perfect time to call it, and it worked."
Just about everything else did, too, for Malzahn's offense. The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference), who are ranked atop the BCS standings for the first time, easily sidestepped the string of upsets that had struck No. 1 teams in each of the past three weeks.
They did it with Newton's catching and passing, and the running of Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb.
"Everybody on this team wants to continue to fight," said Dyer, a freshman who ran for a career-high 180 yards. "We like where we're ranked, and we just want to stay humble and find ways to keep winning."
Newton also made a potential touchdown-saving tackle after Auburn lost a fumble in one of few offensive miscues, so add tackling to his list of talents, too.
The Rebels (3-4, 1-4) ended Newton's string of four straight 170-yard rushing efforts against SEC defenses, but he still passed for 209. The TD catch on Auburn's opening drive answered a quick touchdown from Ole Miss.
Newton became the third Auburn player to have touchdowns passing, rushing and receiving in the same season, joining Carnell Williams (2004) and Kodi Burns (2009), the quarterback-turned receiver who threw the pass to Newton. The 6-foot-6 Newton outfought 5-10 cornerback Jeremy McGee in the role reversal.
Newton has now been responsible for 30 touchdowns in nine games.
"It's hard to defend a 6-6 receiver, or quarterback, whatever you want to call him," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "He has great athletic ability and we have no problem throwing the ball up for a jump ball. It's just one of those situations where we worked on it going in."
Auburn scored on Demond Washington's 95-yard punt return, McCalebb's 68-yard touchdown run and Dyer's 30-yarder in a rare buffet of big plays not involving Newton.
It was the most points the Tigers have ever scored against Ole Miss, which has dropped three straight games.
Newton was 18-of-24 passing, and ran 11 times for 45 yards after running wild in recent weeks. He missed a couple of open receivers for possible touchdowns but got more than ample help from his supporting cast against the Rebels.
McCalebb had 99 yards on nine runs, and Darvin Adams gained 75 yards on six catches.
"We came out wanting to stop No. 2 (Newton) from running the ball and we did that, but he has many other weapons," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. "
The Tigers racked up 572 total yards and punted for the first time with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.
"I feel like we played horrible on defense," Rebels defensive tackle D.T. Shackelford said. "We just didn't get the job done."
True to form, the Tigers won in a shootout with an offense that was potent enough to overcome whatever the defense allowed, though it didn't rival the 65-43 win earlier over Arkansas.
Jeremiah Masoli, a transfer and running threat like Newton, completed 20 of 33 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Ole Miss. He ran for 29 yards.
Jeff Scott raced 83 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage for the Rebels. He finished with 134 yards on nine carries.
"He is an electrifying guy and can fly," Nutt said. "He outran a championship-caliber team, and that is saying a lot for a freshman."
Brandon Bolden rushed for touchdowns of 20 and 5 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels briefly made some noise in the fourth after Auburn had gone on a 30-3 spurt. Ole Miss recovered the onside kick after Bolden's 20-yarder.
The Rebels went three and out and then the teams traded touchdowns to end the rout.
It was just punctuation for a dominant offensive performance. The Tigers had a 98-yard drive after Washington's interception near the goal line in the second quarter when Auburn's lead was only three points.
Nutt's fourth-and-1 gamble from his own 40 backfired late in the half. It failed, and Auburn added a field goal at the end to make it 34-17 at the half.
"It was huge to get the ball back and huge to get us some momentum going and to get three points," Chizik said.