After week of turmoil, Newton starts for Auburn

Cam Newton is starting at quarterback for No. 2 Auburn against Georgia.

The Tigers (10-0) can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game with a win over the Bulldogs (5-5), and they’ll have their best player running the offense.

Coach Gene Chizik had insisted all along that Newton would start, even after a week of allegations that his father solicited money during the recruiting process.

Shortly before kickoff, Chizik was asked by a CBS reporter to confirm Newton’s playing status for the game. "He’s the quarterback today for Auburn University," he said.

Newton has denied any wrongdoing, and Auburn fans gave him a huge cheer when he was announced as the starter during pregame warmups. It was clear he’d be playing when he trotted on the field wearing his familiar No. 2 and worked out with the offense an hour before the kickoff.

On the very first play, Newton dropped back to pass, sidestepped two defenders and ran for 13 yards. Four plays later, he broke off a 31-yard touchdown run.