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From SI.COM, October 23, 2010
AS CAM NEWTON STOOD ON TOP OF THE BRICK FACADE IN FRONT OF THE student section in Jordan-Hare Stadium's south end zone engaging in his weekly celebration of another monstrous performance and another SEC victory, the scoreboard above him flashed the remnants of what seemed like a one-sided blowout. Auburn rushing yards: 440. LSU: 115. Auburn total yards: 526. LSU: 243.
Beneath those, however, were the only numbers that mattered—AUBURN 24, LSU 17—the final score of yet another fourth-quarter dogfight. In spite of the home team's near total defensive domination and another Herculean performance from its Heisman front-runner (217 rushing yards, two TDs), there was no telling which of these Top 10 foes would become the SEC's lone undefeated team until Auburn tailback Onterio McCalebb dashed 70 yards for a tiebreaking touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"There were a lot of times in that game that it did not look good—but I say that every week," said coach Gene Chizik. "I don't know what makes team chemistry. I only know in my heart of hearts that we have it."
Newton's stamp on the victory included a dazzling 49-yard third-quarter touchdown run that left three LSU defensive backs on the ground. "It's my job description to make that play," he said afterward.
But it would be disingenuous to say he did it alone. Behind a relentless offensive line and textbook perimeter blocking by the receivers, Auburn racked up a ton of rushing yards against an LSU defense that came in allowing just 83.6 per game. Freshman tailback Michael Dyer went for 100, McCalebb for 84.
"It's a lot of hard work paying off," said center Ryan Pugh. "You feel good when they tell you [afterward] you ran for 440 yards against the No. 3 defense in the country."
Auburn went up 10--3 early in the second quarter but scored just once on its next seven possessions. After LSU tied the game 17—17 early in the fourth quarter, Newton led Auburn from his own 20 to his opponents' 36 before a puzzling pair of play calls gave the ball back to LSU with 7:51 remaining.
As dominant as Newton and his backs were on offense, defensive tackle Nick Fairley played just as impressive a role on defense. In a critical three-play span the future All-America notched two of his 3½ tackles for loss to force a three-and-out and give Auburn another chance to drive for the lead with 6:10 remaining, this time starting from its own 10.
On first down Newton burst for 16 yards, followed by a four-yard Dyer run. Then McCalebb took a handoff around left end, found a seam and dashed 70 yards nearly untouched to the end zone.