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September 26, 2010
Auburn's Newton nabs player of week honor
Although Auburn started 5-0 last season, the Tigers' four consecutive wins to start the 2010 season have a different feel to them.
Give some of that credit to new quarterback Cameron Newton. The transfer from Blinn College is flourishing with the Tigers.
Against South Carolina, the SEC's top run defense going into Saturday's game, Newton rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries in a 35-27 win. He also passed for 158 yards and two TDs to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.
With the Tigers trailing 20-14 at halftime, Newton did his best work in the second half, accounting for three of his five touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
"He has been a great addition to our football team," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "I think he has handled all of the circumstances really, really well with a lot of class. He was a huge reason we won the football game, let's not make any mistake about it, but there were a bunch of others out there that did it, too."
Chizik's comments could be an understatement -- Newton leads the SEC in rushing and in passing efficiency.
Backup freshman quarterbacks have a way of turning themselves into folk heroes at Florida.
Burton jump-started the Gators' offense in a 48-14 rout of Kentucky by accounting for a school-record six touchdowns. On a day when starter John Brantley passed for a career-high 248 yards, Burton stole the show to earn National Freshman of the Week honors.
All five of Burton's carries resulted in touchdowns, covering 40 yards. Burton, who also lines up at tight end and at H-back, caught five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown, and he completed his only pass for 42 yards.
Brantley is not a runner and Florida has tweaked its offense to best fit his skill-set. But Burton is a good fit for Urban Meyer's preferred spread-option offense. The last time Florida had a quarterback that didn't fit Meyer's offense was 2006, when Chris Leak was at the helm. That season, Meyer used a backup freshman quarterback in key situations. That backup, of course, was Tim Tebow.
NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Boise State's run defense entered the season knowing it would face two major non-conference tests against Virginia Tech and Oregon State and that both teams had Heisman-caliber running backs in Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams and Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers.
In the opener, Williams rushed for three touchdowns, but he wasn't effective outside of the goal line, rushing for 40 yards on 20 carries.
The Broncos were more effective defending Rodgers in a 37-24 victory Saturday. Boise State held Rodgers to 46 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown to earn Kwiatkowski, the defensive coordinator in his first year with the Broncos, National Coordinator of the Week honors.
Boise State also held Oregon State to 159 passing yards.