If you’re not an Auburn Tigers fan or year-round SEC nerd, chances are you weren’t paying all that much attention to Cam Newton before he took on the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sept. 25 earlier this year. At that point, Auburn had just crept into the top 25’s teens after winning a bloodbath against the Clemson Tigers and squeaking past the Mississippi St. Bulldogs, neither of which featured completely dominant Newton performances. He threw an interception against MSU and two against Clemson, in fact.
The highlight most responsible for introducing Newton to his new national audience was this 54-yard scoring sprint early in the first quarter against Carolina, who was actually ranked five spots ahead of Auburn at the time:
Still amazing to watch. That behemoth is outrunning those little guys — not just staying ahead of them, but actually putting distance on them. And nobody’s figured out yet why Newton’s allowed to dive into the end zone, but Markeith Summers isn’t.
Newton finished with 176 yards on the ground and another 158 through the air. His five touchdowns remains tied for his career high. Here’s another Newton touchdown, this one a three-yard dive that closed Carolina’s lead to six just before halftime: