|Auburn's Cameron Newton (2) eludes Arkansas State's |
Jeremy Gibson (96) in Auburn Saturday night.
After his debut eye-opening performance in Auburn's season opening 52-26 win over Arkansas State Saturday, in which he broke an all-time Auburn record for rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback with 171 and two touchdowns, a reporter asked the junior if he had heard the news.
"No, sir, I didn't," Newton said, smiling. "It's really big, but it's on to the next one. Of course I'm happy with the accolade, but I feel that I didn't play the best game I could have played. I've just got to watch film tomorrow and make due to my mistakes."
Equally impressive to Newton's ground attack were his stats through the air.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder completed 9 of 14 passes for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns, bringing his total TD count in the game to five.
Perhaps his most impressive play came midway through the second quarter.
Dropping back to pass on a 2nd-and-5, Newton sidestepped Arkansas State's Najel Byrd's blitz attempt. He then stepped forward and slipped from Jeremy Gibson's grasp before spinning to the left and finding open field.
But he wasn't done yet.
Byrd again tried to stop him but was instead left standing in his shoes. Newton then juked Gregory McCall and cut back across the field to the right en route to a 16-yard gain.
Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts was more than impressed by the Tiger quarterback's athletic ability.
"I don't know if I have seen an individual performance better than Cam Newton," said the Red Wolves' coach. "He is the best player I have ever seen live. He made a huge difference in the ball game tonight. He is hard to bring down."
Newton continued to impress on the ground later in the second quarter with a 71-yard touchdown run in which he was untouched.
A Passer, Too
His passes throughout the night were near perfect also, especially on the deep balls.
The JUCO transfer dropped in a perfect pass to receiver Quindarius Carr on a 48-yard touchdown bomb and also connected with tailback Mario Fannin on touchdown passes of 36 and 38 yards, respectively.
In all, the junior accounted for 357 of Auburn's total 608 offensive yards Saturday against the Red Wolves.
SEC Schedule Begins Thursday
With Arkansas State in the past, Newton will be strapping up against an SEC opponent the next time Auburn takes the field.
But he says as long as the team continues buying into what the coaching staff asks of them, only good things will come of the approaching tough schedule.
"Coach (Gus) Malzahn has the bar raised so high for us, and you know, the sky's the limit," beamed Newton. "And that just goes to show you what we're capable of doing."
Auburn travels to Starkville, Miss. Thursday to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC). Kickoff time is set for 7:30 PM ET at Davis-Wade Stadium and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
Original article can be found on Bleacher Report here.