2010 Auburn Tigers football team
The 2010 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 2010 2011 college football season. The Tigers, led by second year head coach Gene Chizik were members of the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference and played their home games at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers completed a 12 0 regular season record and defeated South Carolina in the 2010 SEC Championship Game. On January 10, 2011, Auburn defeated Oregon in the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona, 22 19, to win the first undisputed national championship in school history, and their second overall. This offense relies on an attacking ground game from different spread sets, using fakes and misdirection, to set up a play action passing attack through the air, while snapping the ball almost as soon as it is placed to give the defense less time to react to different looks. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof's efforts were aided by replenished depth at Wholesale Snapbacks the linebacker and secondary positions, utilizing a collection of the 3 4 and 4 3 defensive formations, also known as Multiple D strategy.
Eventual Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton led the Tiger offense to a 13 0 record, SEC Championship, and a berth in the BCS Championship game, which was played on January 10, 2011. Auburn led the SEC in scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense, pass efficiency, first downs and first down conversions. Defensively the Tigers were improved from 2009 but less impressive than on offense, ranking in the lower half of the SEC for most defensive categories. However, the Tiger defense was notably improved in the second halves of its 2010 games, allowing an average of only 3.7 fourth quarter points and shutting out five opponents (Mississippi State, South Carolina, Louisiana Monroe, Georgia and Alabama) in the final period.
Auburn came into the season against an Arkansas State team ready to show off their new spread offense. Although Auburn only surrendered 43 yards on the ground, a total of 366 yards offensively were given up by a soft Auburn defense. Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin threw for 278 yards while completing 28 of 42 passes. However, Auburn's offense shined despite very basic playcalling. New quarterback Cam Newton set a school record for quarterbacks running the ball with 171 yards on the ground, as well as 186 yards passing, while completing 9 of 14 passes. In a back and forth game, the Tigers were able to pull out a 17 14 victory when State's late attempt to tie or perhaps even win the game failed. Cameron Newton followed up his impressive debut by going 11/19 for 138 yards and 2 passing TD's. He also showed off his running ability once again by gaining 70 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Newton was Auburn's leading rusher for the second straight week. Sophomore Onterio McCalebb added 68 yards for the Tigers. The Auburn defense looked much improved from their week one game with Arkansas State and kept the Bulldogs in check most of the night. DT Nick Fairley led the charge on defense. He recoved a fumble, intercepted a pass, and had 1.5 sacks. This game was the site of ESPN's College GameDay and lived up to the hype. Early it looked as if Clemson was going to blow Auburn out of its own building as the visiting Tigers stormed out to a 17 0 lead. Auburn rallied to get a FG before half time and then showed no ill effects of the 1st half in scoring three 3rd quarter touchdowns chi flat iron to take a 24 17 lead. Clemson rallied for a TD of their own and this game ended up going to overtime. Auburn managed only a FG on their OT possession and it looked as if Clemson had tied the game with a FG of their own, but a procedure penalty ended up costing the visiting Tigers big time. Clemson missed the second FG attempt and Auburn had survived another heart stopping game, 27 24. Cameron Newton bounced back after a horrible first half and finished the night 7/14 for 203 yards with 2 TD's and 2 INT's. Onterio McCalebb was big in the running game again for Auburn, gaining 81 yards on 10 carries. Freshman Michael Dyer added 69 yards on 16 carries. Darvin Adams finally had a breakout game, catching 5 balls for 118 yards and a TD. The Tigers improved to 4 0, notching their 700th win all time, after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks. Cameron Newton proved once again just how special a player he is by accounting for all five Auburn TD's. Newton threw for 2 and ran for the other 3 while accounting for 334 yards of total offense. Freshman Michael Dyer outplayed South Carolina freshman Marcus Lattimore, by gaining 100 yards on 23 carries. Lattimore only had 33 yards on 14 carries. Stephen Garcia played well but two fumbles led to Steve Spurrier pulling Garcia in favor of freshman Connor Shaw. Shaw threw INT's on each of his possessions and the Tigers once again survived. The Auburn defense played better against the run, but South Carolina still threw the ball pretty much at will. The Tigers went ahead 7 0 on their second play from scrimmage on a 50 yard touchdown run by sophomore tailback Onterrio McCalebb and the ensuing PAT by Wes Byrum. Junior quarterback Cameron Newton connected on 94 yard pass touchdown pass completion to wide receiver Emory Blake on the Tigers' fourth play from scrimmage, making the score 14 0 with 10:22 remaining in the opening period, and the rout was on. Unlike the previous four games, Newton had no rushing attempts except for a 4 yard loss on a quarterback sack, but he completed 14 of 19 passes for 249 yards. Mario Fannin led the Tigers' rushing attack with 89 yards on 10 attempts. The Tigers offensive attack was once again led by quarterback Cameron Newton, who scored four touchdowns in the first half to lead Auburn to a 31 17 halftime lead. Newton contributed 408 yards of offense to the Tigers' attack. He rushed for 198 yards on 28 carries, and completed 13 of 21 passing attempts for 210 yards.
The Wildcats' attacks was led by quarterback Mike Hartline, who completed 23 out of 28 passing attempts for 220 yards, and senior running back Randall Cobb, who rushed for 47 yards, caught seven passes for 68 yards, and threw a 6 yard touchdown pass of his own to freshman tight end Jordan Autmiller. The Tigers' victory avenged a 21 14 defeat they suffered against the Wildcats in 2009 the Wildcats' first victory over Auburn since 1966. With the victory, the Tigers improved their record to 6 0 overall, and 3 0 in the Southeastern Conference, where they moved to a half game behind Western Division leader LSU. The Tigers were once again led on offense by quarterback Cameron Newton, who rushed for 188 yards and completed 10 of 14 passes for 140 yards. The much anticipated duel between Newton and Razorbacks' quarterback Ryan Mallett failed to materialize when Mallett left the game in the 2nd quarter because of a concussion. Mallett was replaced by sophomore backup Tyler Wilson, who completed 25 of 34 passes for 332 yards and four touchdowns. Before Mallett left the game he completed 10 of 15 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown.
The Razorbacks took an early 7 0 lead on 7 yard chi flat irons touchdown pass from Mallett to Van Stumon, but barely two minutes the later the Tigers tied the game on 5 yard rushing touchdown by Newton. The two teams combined for 34 points in the second quarter. Auburn scored two touchdowns, one on a 4 yard run by Mario Fannin and the other on 13 yard run by Onterrio McCalebb. Wes Byrum kicked two field goals in the period, including a 26 yarder on the first half's final play to give the Tigers a 27 21 lead.
Wilson, the Razorbacks' back up quarterback, connected on touchdown passes of 37 and 24 yards in the third quarter, Cheap Hats while Byrum kicked a 28 yard field goal and Newton rushed for a 1 yard touchdown, making the score 37 35 in favor of Auburn at the end of the 3rd quarter. Newton's touchdown was set up by a 99 yard kick off return by McCalebb.
Arkansas went ahead 43 37 less than a minute into the fourth quarter, but Auburn went ahead for good when Newton completed a 15 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Emory Blake with 11:44 left in the game, making the score 44 43. The Tigers' defense was responsible for the their final three touchdowns. Zac Ethridge returned an Arkansas fumble 47 yards for a touchdown. On Arkansas' next possession, linebacker Josh Bynes intercepted a Tyler Wilson pass and returned it to the Arkansas 7 yard line. Two plays later, Newton scored on a three yard rush, making the score 58 43. Three plays later, Bynes intercepted another pass by Wilson.