Cam Newton’s 150 Rushing Yards Leads Auburn Past Georgia
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.cstv.com) – Auburn used a 14-point third quarter to wrestle away momentum from Georgia en route to a 49-31 win to keep the number two team in the nation undefeated with just one regular season game remaining. Auburn trailed by 14 points in the first quarter but outscored Georgia 42-10 over the last three quarters to move to 11-0, 7-0 SEC on the season and clinch a berth in next month’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Auburn used a punishing ground attack, led by quarterback Cam Newton’s 150 rushing yards and Onterio McCalebb’s 71 yards and three rushing touchdowns, to rack up 315 yards on the ground on 57 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and scoring five of its seven touchdowns on the ground.
The other two Auburn scores came courtesy of two Netwon to Philip Lutzenkirchen tosses as he hit the tight end for an 18-yard score in the closing minutes of the first half to tie it at 21-21 and then again on Auburn’s first drive of the fourth quarter with a 13 yard pass to go up 42-31. Newton finished the night with 148 yards passing and in the process became the first player in SEC history and the eighth different player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.
Auburn tailback Michael Dyer also etched his name in the school’s record book as he gained 60 yards on 13 carries, establishing a freshman record for yards in a season with 859, snapping Bo Jackson’s 28-year old record of 829 yards set in 1982.
Tied at 21-21 at the half, Auburn successfully converted and recovered an on-side kick that lead to a nine-play, 59-yard scoring drive, capped by McCalebb’s second touchdown of the day, this one a two-yard scamper to go up 28-21.
After Georgia (5-6, 3-5 SEC) answered to tie it at 28-28 on Washaun Ealey’s seven-yard touchdown run, Auburn went 81 yards in seven plays, capped by McCalebb’s four-yard score to go up 35-28, a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
In Auburn’s 14-point third quarter, the team rushed for 140 yards on 16 carries while not attempting a pass.
After allowing 162 yards and three touchdowns to Georgia on each of its first three possessions, the Auburn defense stiffened, allowing just 192 yards the rest of the way.
Craig Stevens led Auburn with nine tackles while Nosa Eguae had two sacks of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who finished the game 15-for-28 for 273 yards.
Emory Blake had three catches for 64 yards to lead all of Auburn’s receivers while A.J. Green led Georgia with nine catches for 164 yards and two scores.
- The eagle flight was made by Nova from the flagpole on the ramp on the northeast corner of the stadium.
- Auburn team captains were C Ryan Pugh, LB Josh Bynes and K Wes Byrum.
- Georgia won the toss and deferred to the second half. Auburn chose to receive and Georgia defended the north end zone.
- Kickoff was at 12:05 p.m. CT.
- Game attendance was announced as a sellout of 87,451.
- With the victory, Auburn clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game as the West Division representative. It will be Auburn’s fourth trip to the SEC Championship game (2004, 2000, 1997).
- Auburn clinched at least a share of the West Division championship, marking the seventh time that Auburn has won outright or shared the SEC West title since 1997.
- Auburn now leads the all-time series with Georgia 54-52-8, although Georgia still owns a 14-10-2 lead in games played in Auburn. The Tigers snapped a four-game winning streak by Georgia in the series.
- Auburn improved to 11-0 for just the third time in school history (2004, 1993).
- Auburn finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It marked just the second time that Auburn has won eight home games in one season, matching the 1988 team’s 8-0 mark.
- Auburn came from behind to for the seventh time in 11 games this season. It marked the third time that Auburn overcame a double-digit deficit to win (Clemson, South Carolina), marking the first time since 1970 that Auburn won three games in the same season in which is trailed by double figures.
- Auburn scored 49 points, pushing the Tigers’ total for the season to 471 points, which is the most points in a single season in school history. The previous high was 438 in 1995.
- Auburn has now won its last 64 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points. The last loss was a 56-49, four-overtime game against Georgia in 1996.
- Auburn rushed for 315 yards, marking the sixth straight game against an SEC opponent that the Tigers surpassed 300 yards rushing. Georgia entered the game ranked 13th nationally, allowing 106.4 yards rushing per game.
- Auburn converted 10-of-14 third down plays. The Tigers entered the game ranked ninth nationally with a third-down conversion percentage of 50.9.
- Auburn scored first on a 31-yard TD rush by Cam Newton. It marked just the sixth game this season in which Auburn scored first.
- The score was tied 21-21 at the half. It marked the second time this season that Auburn was tied at the half (LSU).
- Auburn led 35-31 after three quarters. The Tigers have led after three quarters in every game but South Carolina (trailed) and Kentucky (tied).
- Auburn has scored in 21 consecutive quarters, dating back to the fourth quarter of Auburn’s game at Kentucky (Oct. 9).
Cam Newton NOTES
- Newton became the first player in SEC history and the eighth different player in NCAA history to reach totals of 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season.
- Newton accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing), extending his school single-season record for touchdowns responsible for to 39. Newton entered the game leading the nation with 35 touchdowns scored and passed for.
- Newton’s 39 touchdowns responsible for ranks sixth in a single season in SEC history.
- Newton rushed for 151 yards on 30 carries, pushing his season total to 1,297 yards, which ranks seventh in Auburn history and extends his SEC record for yards rushing by a quarterback in a single season.
- It marked Newton’s sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season, with five of the six coming against SEC opponents.
- Newton’s two rushing touchdowns brought his season total to 17 touchdowns on the year. That mark ties for first in a season in Auburn history with Bo Jackson (1985) and Carnell Williams (2003).
- Newton has now scored 18 touchdowns (17 rushing and one receiving), giving him 108 points scored this season, which set a new Auburn single season record for most points scored in a single season.
- Newton completed 12-of-15 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He now ranks second in Auburn single-season history with 21 TD passes, just one shy of the record set by Chris Todd last season.
- Newton’s first quarter interception snapped a streak of 85 consecutive passes thrown without an interception.
- Newton had 299 yards of offense, pushing his season total to 3,335 yards, breaking the Auburn single-season record for total offense. The record had been 3,277 yards by Dameyune Craig in 1997.
MORE PLAYER NOTES
- OT Lee Ziemba extended his consecutive starts streak to 49 games, tying the school record held by Will Herring.
- Wes Byrum scored seven points, pushing his Auburn career-record total to 343 points, which ranks seventh in SEC history.
- Byrum also recovered an on-side kick to start the second half. It was the first on-side kick recovered by Auburn since Byrum accomplished the feat against Alabama last season.
- Darvin Adams had three catches for 30 yards, becoming the eighth player in Auburn history to amass 100 career receptions. He now has 102 career catches for 1,678 career yards.
- Michael Dyer rushed for 60 yards on 13 carries, giving him 859 rushing yards this season, breaking Bo Jackson’s Auburn freshman record of 829 yards rushing set in 1982.
- Onterio McCalebb scored on runs of 4, 2 and 4 yards for his first career three-touchdown game. It marked the fifth straight game in which he has rushed for a touchdown, and gives him nine rushing TDs this season and 13 in his career.
- Philip Lutzenkirchen caught a pair of touchdown passes, covering 18 and 13 yards. It was his first multi-TD game, giving him four TD catches this season and six for his career.
Georgia vs. Auburn Postgame Quotes
Auburn Locker Room
Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik
“I couldn’t be happier for our fans. Just the Auburn Family and I am just excited for everybody. That stadium out there tonight was electric, and our student body, our alumni, our fans … it was a great night for everybody. Our football team in that locker room over there has a lot of love for each other. I think tonight was another situation when we were down by 14 points I think at one point, they just play as a family. That’s all that I can tell you. They play as a family, and I couldn’t be more blessed personally in my life to be around great people, great coaches, great administrators and players who are a joy to be around. They care about Auburn. They care about this football team, and they never cease to amaze me. I am very proud of (Cam) and his performance, and I am very proud of our whole football team starting with our seniors, who have done a great job getting us to this point this year.”
On Cam Newton’s ability to avoid the distractions
“Cam rushed for (151) yards tonight. I was just really proud of the way he played. Like I said, he’s a really, really talented, extremely gifted football player who means a lot to our football team. By his performance, I felt like he’s done just about what he’s done in every other game this year.”
On the decision to on-side kick to open the second half
“That’s a very potent offense, and the on-side kick we felt really good about it during the week, and we felt like we needed to take one possession away from them in the second half. We needed to get some momentum coming out. We told our guys in the locker room at halftime we said it’s up and running and you have to get it. Wes (Byrum) made a great kick. I think it swung the momentum starting the second half, and it took one more possession away from their offense in the second half, which we needed to do.”
On how difficult it was to defend A.J. Green?
“I don’t know that we did. I know that we certainly tried about everything we had, and they made some great throws to him. He made some great catches. He’s one of the best football players, wide receivers, certainly in college football. There’s no question about it. He is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a very talented young man.”
What was the difference in between the defense in the first quarter and the rest of the game?
“We settled down a little bit. We tried to do some different things coverage-wise just trying to get the passing game under control. We felt like we could stop the run, but we knew that they had very talented guys at wideout, including the tight end. They do a great job of seeing what you are in. The quarterback does a great job of reading what coverages that you are either disguising and trying to work to, and he hits the guy who is most available in that coverage. They are really good at that, and I thought they executed that well. I think pass rush and pressure, more so in the second half, got to them a little bit.”
On controlling the game running the ball in the second half and how important that was
“We felt like offensively starting with our offensive line, we felt like we could get some movement up front. We were trying to get a pace going where we could wear them down a little bit. I don’t know if that happened exactly the way we wanted to, but we had some explosive plays in there where they had to run down the field and get set and reset. We did some things that we thought with clock management and other things would help us towards the end of the game. Again, our offensive line … that was a good defense we played against. My hat’s off to them. They tried to do a few different things to take away the quarterback run game which we were able to do some other things with our tailback run game, but at the end of the day, that was a really good defense. I was proud of our offensive line.”
On winning the SEC Western Division
“We had goals at the beginning of the year, and this was the first goal. Really in the name of trying to take them one at a time, we didn’t know when, if we were going to win the West, when that would happen. We were blessed to be in a position tonight where if we won, then obviously, we have a trip to Atlanta. So, I think there was a lot of incentive out there. There was a lot on the line, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team because of the way they responded and the way they just kept playing.”
What were some of the reasons for the personal fouls in the game?
“Just really disappointed in that. That’s a lot of reflection on us as coaches, and I am embarrassed by it. That’s not who we are. That’s not the way we carry ourselves, and we will address that tomorrow.”
On Michael Dyer breaking Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing yardage total
“I think Mike as the year has progressed has got a little more comfortable with the offense every week. We certainly have a lot of confidence in him running the football and protecting the football. What a great accomplishment. I think he feels a great comfort level, and I think it is a great honor for him. Again, we are not trying to break individual goals here but certainly that is one he is always going to be proud of until the next guy comes along and breaks it. I am proud of Michael.”
Did you believe you would win the SEC Western Division this soon after taking over as head coach?
“I never put a timeline and a timeframe on anything. Our belief was that the only thing that we could focus on is where we’re going with the program and how we’re trying to get there, and we’re trying to do all the things the right way that make sense that the Auburn people would be proud of and the Auburn Family. It would just be what Auburn is and who Auburn is, and that’s where we tried to start. So, we didn’t put a timeframe on anything, but make no mistake our goal since the day we stepped here was to win a championship, and we haven’t done that yet. So, I don’t want to act like we have. We haven’t, but we are one step closer to being able to do that.”
How welcome is this bye week now?
“I think it comes at a great time. We are definitely a tired football team. If you count two-a-days when we started in August, this is probably week 14 straight. I think we tried to manage it about the best way we could with trying to back off when we needed to back off, and try to be aggressive when we needed to be aggressive. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do, and that’s the great thing about this team. It’s a well-needed break. We will sit back and try to get a little bit of a breather here in the next probably 48 hours, but we have a huge, huge football game coming up in two weeks, and we have to get ready to play that game.”
On coming back from another deficit?
“Like I said, the guys in that locker room just never cease to amaze me and the coaches … offensive coaches, defensive coaches, special team coaches. Nobody gets rattled. Players keep playing and the coaches keep coaching and we have to adjust and sometimes it doesn’t look exactly the way we want it to look. Sometimes it is really ugly. Sometimes it’s not. For 11 weeks in a row now, we have found a way to win so that’s the most important thing.”
How will you deal with the ejections?
“I am going to deal with that tomorrow, and I am not happy about it at all.”
What are the next 13 days going to be like leading up to the Iron Bowl since it is longer than a week?
“We have a good plan I feel like. There is a fine line of balance in there between trying to make sure that you are prepared enough, but yet again, we are a little bit of a tired and beat up football team. So, they have to regroup a little bit and we have to get healthy. We will try to find that balance in there somewhere starting tomorrow.”
Was your team a little bit hyped up to start the game?
“They were. I think they were very excited to play. I knew that when we were getting off the bus. We were trying to temper it down a little bit. They were extremely excited to play this game. The seniors knew that they were never going to play out here again. That’s where it started, and they love Auburn, and they love playing in front of these fans, and they were off the chart in terms of excitement and I don’t blame them. But, I think that was a little bit part of some of the play at the beginning … we weren’t very smart. We were just too out there with that. Finally we settled down, and I think we played a little bit better.”
On what it was like when it was 21-7 Georgia?
“You are always concerned when it is 21-7, but I don’t think a 21-7 score affects you unless you have never been there before. We have probably been there two to three maybe more times this year. I just think our football team has confidence, and we get things adjusted to the best of our ability, and we try to come back and just keep playing for 60 minutes. We just don’t look up at the clock. We just keep playing and when it is 0:00, we will look up and the best man will win.”
Cam Newton, QB
On becoming first SEC quarterback to pass for more than 2,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000…
“I’m a blessed individual on a blessed team. I would not have had any of the success I’ve had without the offensive line, the receivers and running backs around me. We have worked so hard as a team the entire season. Everybody is doing their job in the system and it is a great feeling when it all comes together.”
On earning a place in SEC Championship Game…
“We still have one more game in the regular season that we have to tackle. We have to finish strong. The Iron Bowl speaks for itself. We just have to continue to work hard just like we did do get to where we are now.”
On Auburn’s offensive production…
“We came out and had a simple game plan. We just wanted to execute and get our pace going. Every time we looked up, they were substituting players. That means they were having to bring someone off the bench that didn’t have the same amount of experience. We always want to bring that kind of a pace to the game. We know once we get those guys on their heels, it will help us to be more successful as the game goes on.”
Michael Dyer, RB
On tonight’s game…
“It was great. We all played really hard. Cam (Newton) had a good game. We came out there and played a good team tonight and we were able to finish it out.”
On breaking Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record…
“It was really special moment. I’m thankful for the opportunities I have had as a freshman. Everyone stepped up and did their part tonight, and we just had a great time being a family.”
On winning the SEC West…
“It means a lot for the seniors. I was happy for them because they finally got to beat Georgia. This is the last time they are ever going to play here, so it was emotional for some of those guys. All we wanted to do is get the win for the seniors.”
Onterio McCalebb, RB
On tonight’s game…
“Everybody went out there with the mindset that we knew what we had to do. A lot of people doubted and a lot of people didn’t expect us to make it this far. As a team, we went out there and did what we had to do.”
On scoring three touchdowns…
“The coaches called the plays and everybody did their assignments. I was able to get into the end zone.”
On winning the SEC West…
“It really means a lot. Coming out of high school, I never thought I would be able to be in this spot my second year in college. Right now, I am just going to enjoy it all I can.”
Josh Bynes, LB
On the defense only giving up 10 points after the first quarter…
“We didn’t really change anything. We just calmed down. In the first quarter, we acted like we had never played football before. There were plays where we could have made things happen, like the things we practice, but they were just able execute offensively with three touchdowns in the first quarter. We knew that for the rest of the game, we had to settle down. We knew that if we did that we would come out with a victory.”
On winning the SEC West…
“It is a great thing especially for the guys that have been here for four or five years. We experienced a 5-7 season my sophomore year and an 8-5 season with the new coaching staff last year. A lot of guys have been through three or four offensive and defensive coordinators, but with having the same staff from last year, we felt that we were going to go from good to great. We felt that we had a chance to go undefeated. Right now we are sitting at 11-0 and sitting as the SEC West champions.”
On his last game in Jordan-Hare Stadium…
“It means a lot to me. It won’t hit a lot of us yet. It hasn’t hit me yet, but I think it will when I have to walk to Jordan-Hare without wearing an Auburn uniform. It’s crazy, but I loved every experience I had with this team throughout the four years that I have been here, especially this year coming out with the victory to put us in the SEC Championship.”
Zach Clayton, DL
On tonight’s game…
“It is a special win. It is my last game here in Jordan-Hare.”
On the defense holding Georgia to 10 points after the first quarter…
“The senior group got up and said that we can’t allow them to score any more easy points.”
On winning the SEC West…
“It is huge. This is something that hasn’t been done since 2004. It is great what these guys have been able to accomplish.”
On his last game in Jordan-Hare…
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I just did my last round out on the field, so I don’t think it will set in for a couple of days.”
On tonight’s game…
“We got off to a slow start at the beginning, but knowing this team and what we’ve been through this year we just fought through adversity and came back. Now we’re 11-0 and heading to Atlanta.”
On only giving up 10 points after the first quarter…
“On the first couple of touchdowns it was just guys that were too into the game. They were using their eyes and we gave up big plays and gave them free points. Other than that, we just fought back. Everyone read their keys and bought in and we came out on top.”
On playing his last game in Jordan-Hare…
“I had to go around the stadium three or four times at the end. You’ll never experience anything like this ever again. I’m glad for the Auburn Family. I’m going to miss it and I’ve enjoyed it.”
On winning the SEC West…
“I have never been a champion in my life. However, we’re not done and the season isn’t over. We can celebrate this one, play one more and then head off to Atlanta.”
On scoring two touchdowns…
“It is enjoyable anytime you get in the end zone against your home-state school.”
On playing against his home-state school…
“There is always a little extra motivation going into the week preparing for them. I know a lot of them and a lot are like brothers. My best friend from high school is their backup quarterback and he got to play there at the end. It’s just fun playing against the guys you know.”
Lee Ziemba, OL
On tying the starts record…
“To do it on that field was awesome. I’m just so proud of this team. We keep fighting.”
On the team rushing for over 300 yards…
“It’s become normal for us. We have good coaches and good players and we just keep fighting. There is just something special about this team.”
On Michael Dyer breaking Bo Jackson’s freshman rushing record…
“I’m glad I’m able to block for a caliber back like he is. He’s a great player and we just go out there and block for him.”
On having a week off…
“I’m probably going to do a little hunting. I need to catch up on some school work, and just start studying up on our next opponent.”
Craig Stevens, LB
On his last game inside Jordan-Hare…
“It was amazing. The crowd showed up and showed so much love and support. It amped us up for the game. Georgia came to play. I’m glad we were able to come out with a victory.”
On only giving up ten points after the first quarter…
“We knew that in the first quarter they were going to come out with some things that we haven’t seen before. They were able to execute perfectly. We had to go to the sidelines and make some adjustments. Once we got to the sidelines, we decided we were going to play our game and we were able to get some stops.”
On being the SEC Western Division Champions…
“It’s great. It’s a feeling that is just indescribable. No one on this team has ever experienced it. It’s just amazing. I’m just trying to soak in the moment right now.”
Georgia Locker Room
Head Coach Mark Richt
“Congratulations to Coach Chizik and Auburn. They clinched their opportunity to play in Atlanta in the SEC Championship. I know the feeling and it’s a great feeling. They’ve done a great job this season and did a great job tonight. They were a better team than us tonight. We certainly had our moments, but they weren’t enough to win. They’re a very good football team and I want to give them credit.”
On being prepared for the onside kick…
“We alerted them at the half. The dilemma for our special teams is if they sit at the tee and watch the ball too long when all those guys are flying down the field at 100 miles an hour and they’re supposed to get in position to block, they can’t make the block. Auburn’s kickoff team was one of the bigger differences in the game with them getting the onside kick to start the half and take the lead. We were hoping to get the ball first and put them in a position to be behind. We didn’t get good field position off our kickoff returns and they’re kickoff team tonight was the best we’ve played all season.”
On biggest differences in the game…
“We just couldn’t stop them. That was the biggest difference. We didn’t continue to score and that’s all there is to it. Auburn was very efficient in what they were doing on offense. It’s very difficult to stop a quarterback who can run like that. The only way to outnumber a run game like that is to bring both safeties to the line of scrimmage. When you do that, he throws the ball too well. Cam (Newton) is a true dual threat and a tough kid. They have other good players that played well today, but he’s the difference.”
On Auburn playing well despite the week’s distractions…
“As a coach and for players, when you go to practice and the meeting room and you’re in your complex, it’s kind of a haven for you. It’s a place where you can focus on the task at hand. When you’re surrounded by guys focused on the same task it’s a good medicine. When there are things swirling around that you cannot control, you have a chance to enjoy playing the game you love.”
On Georgia’s decision to take a knee on last play of game…
“The reason why I did that was that tempers were flaring and were out of hand. I thought that if we ran another play things could get out of hand. My goal was to take the knee and make sure nothing broke out. When things get that hot and that emotional, I thought it was the wise thing to do. It’s a physical game.”
Clint Boling, OT
On the Auburn’s pressure on the Georgia quarterback…
“Aaron (Murray) handled it well. He took some shots and it falls on the offensive line for not doing a good enough job tonight.”
On the impact of Auburn’s onside kick…
“We were expecting to get the ball at the beginning of the half. They get the ball back and went on a run. That definitely hurt us, but I thought we did a great job at getting a touchdown after that series. We didn’t do well enough to put enough points on the board.”
Justin Houston, OLB
On the overall success of Auburn’s offense…
“They had over 100 yards of rushing just by running the reverse. That is us blowing our assignments. We weren’t where we were supposed to be and they capitalized on our mistakes.”
On the defense’s performance towards the end of the season…
“Some guys aren’t as focused as they need to be. That hurt today and has hurt us all season.”
Kris Durham, SE
On the game overall…
“I am proud at the way we fought overall. We definitely put ourselves in the position to come out to be successful, but we just didn’t make the plays at the right times. Auburn kept making big play after big play and you just have to give them the credit.”
On Auburn stopping the Georgia running game…
“I feel like the run sets up the pass and the pass sets up the run so when you stop one of them it definitely puts the offensive in a bind and Auburn did a great job. They came out in the second half and executed what was called and it put us in a lot of difficult situations.”
On the game misconducts…
“It was just frustration. It is a physical game, it is a rivalry and it is going to happen. We didn’t want to give any embarrassment to either program so I feel like coach called the best call at the end of the game.”
Bacarri Rambo, FS
On Georgia’s season at this point of the year…
“The key plays killed us. When you go back and look at all the games we’ve played, it is just probably one play that killed us and made us 5-6. Hopefully we can regroup and try our best against Georgia Tech.”
A.J. Green, WR
On his performance today…
“I made some big plays, but it wasn’t enough. They’re a great team with a great defense, and they were the better team today.”
On being limited to just a field goal in the third quarter…
“I feel like we needed seven in that particular drive because they’re a great offense and they’re going to keep scoring. We had to go punch-for-punch with them and I think that field goal really hurt us. They’re a great team and they were the better team tonight.”
On Cam Newton’s performance…
“He had a great game. 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. He came out and had a great game, and you’ve got to keep working.”
Akeem Dent, LB
On experiencing frustrations on defense this season…
“It’s hard and really frustrating. We went out and fought hard and gave what we had. They played a great game.”