After overcoming double-digit deficits in their previous two
games, Auburn will look to get off to better start against an
opponent it has handled easily over the years. If quarterback
Cameron Newton continues to excel, that shouldn’t be too
The No. 10 Tigers look to open 5-0 for the second consecutive
season Saturday when they host Louisiana-Monroe, which they have
dominated in winning all seven meetings.
Newton led Auburn back after it trailed 20-7 in the second
quarter against then-No. 12 South Carolina last Saturday, throwing
for 158 yards on 16-of-21 passing and rushing for a career-high 176
yards while accounting for five touchdowns in a 35-27 win.
That performance came one week after the junior helped the
Tigers erase a 17-3 halftime deficit versus Clemson, as he threw
for 203 yards and two TDs on just seven receptions, and rushed for
81 yards and a score in a 27-24 victory.
Newton leads the SEC with a 182.5 passer rating and tops the
conference with 485 rushing yards.
“You can just read Cam’s numbers and they speak for themselves,”
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “He is a competitor. Cameron is a
very humble guy who just comes to work every day. I think he is
getting better as a quarterback and a team leader and a guy who can
manage our offense every week.”
Newton was named SEC offensive player of the week for the second
time this season after the win over the Gamecocks.
“I think I could have played better,” he said. “All the credit
goes to the offensive line for stepping up to the challenge. The
defense and the offensive line did what they were supposed to do
and it showed statistically.”
Newton isn’t the only player Louisiana-Monroe needs to worry
about in the Tigers backfield. Freshman Michael Dyer is ninth in
the SEC with 312 rushing yards and ran for 100 last week.
Auburn is averaging 278 yards on the ground, and the
multi-talented Newton may also put the ball in the air often
against a Warhawks squad that is allowing 284 passing yards per
contest, seventh worst in the FBS.
The Tigers won the teams’ last matchup 34-0 on Aug. 30, 2008,
their second straight shutout in the series. Auburn is 15-0 against
Sun Belt Conference opponents.
Despite all of that, Newton isn’t taking Louisiana-Monroe
“Absolutely. We can never overlook any team no matter how good
or how bad they are,” Newton said. “Louisiana-Monroe is an
excellent team and we’re not going to overlook them.”
Auburn’s Mike Blanc was named SEC defensive lineman of the week
after recording a season-high seven tackles against South
The Warhawks (1-2) defeated Southeastern Louisiana 21-20 in
their home opener last Saturday.
Louisiana-Monroe was led by quarterback Kolton Browning, who
compiled 324 yards of offense with two touchdowns through the air
and another on the ground.
Louisiana-Monroe is 0-18 against ranked opponents.