Kickoff is the DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which means two days away, and while there are a multitude of plays that spanned the two-yard distance, the one I’ll choose to highlight came after I think we knew the special talent that one, Cameron Jerrell Newton could be. After the play, we’ll all chip in and give our memories of Auburn’s most recent Superman.
Auburn opened 2010 with a bit of sleepy and cautious hype, as the Tigers were ranked in the low teens to begin, but boasted a supremely experienced team and a JUCO transfer at quarterback named Cam Newton.
In the opener against Arkansas State, Cam and company opened up a 14-6 lead before getting the ball back early in the second quarter. Two plays in the ensuing drive encapsulated many of the things we’d see over the next thirteen games, as Cam began and finished the touchdown march. Check the whole drive below.
The twirling, dodging run that Cam had to start that clip did more to quiet the crowd than anything else, because I think many in the crowd were startled to see something like what Cam had been able to do. The two-yard touchdown plunge from Cam Newton was his first rushing touchdown of the season, and put Auburn up 21-6 over the Red Wolves. SPOILER ALERT: Auburn won and went undefeated and won the national championship.
I think the first impactful thing that I saw from Cam that I didn’t quite process was shortly after the score above. He took the snap and scampered through a hole in the line on a simple draw, pulled away from defensive backs and scored on a 71-yard touchdown run. I’d never seen a guy that size move that fast, and much of the crowd felt the same way. Personally, it was almost as if we didn’t want to cheer too loudly, lest we scare away this awesome talent that had somehow fallen into our laps.
By the time he had the run against LSU, his legend had blossomed into one that we knew had Heisman potential, from the comebacks against Clemson and South Carolina to the fireworks against Kentucky and Arkansas.
There are many people who say that the 2004 or 1983 teams were the greatest Auburn teams in history. I agree that they were as a whole better squads, but I’d still pick the 2010 bunch to beat anyone in a single game, merely because of what Cam Newton could do on the field. You don’t go through the schedule that he did — undefeated — and not get my absolute and total respect. Think about the toughness of the SEC that year. Alabama finished 10-3, beat Michigan State 48-7 in a bowl game, and finished fourth in the West. Mississippi State put up 50 on Michigan on New Year’s Day, and was fifth in the division. It was an absolute gauntlet, and Cam Newton was the reason that Auburn rose among all of them.
Watch a bunch of highlights below because why not.
Tomorrow is Kickoff Eve, War Eagle!