Cam Newton was unstoppable as always. Still, Auburn needed favorable calls from the replay booth and one big play on defense to hold off Arkansas and its backup quarterback.
Newton, leaving little doubt that he’s a serious Heisman contender, ran for 188 yards, threw for 140, and accounted for four touchdowns, leading the No. 7 Tigers to a wild 65-43 victory over the visiting No. 12 Razorbacks yesterday in a game that went back and forth until Auburn pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The teams set a Southeastern Conference record for most points in a non-overtime game. The previous mark was set in South Carolina’s 65-39 victory over Mississippi State in 1995.
“I’m sitting there on the sideline saying, ‘Wow, we have this many points, and they have that many points,’ ’’ Auburn’s quarterback said. “At one point, we didn’t want to score too fast because it was like a heavyweight boxing match.’’
Newton led the Tigers (7-0, 4-0) with three touchdown runs, including a 3-yarder with 8 1/2 minutes remaining that essentially clinched it. He also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Emory Blake with 11:44 remaining, giving Auburn the lead for good at 44-43.
Arkansas (4-2, 1-2) might have seen its SEC title hopes dashed and also lost its own Heisman hopeful, quarterback Ryan Mallett, who went out in the first half after taking a blow to the head. But Tyler Wilson took over at quarterback and the Razorbacks didn’t miss a beat — not until the fourth quarter, anyway.
Wilson completed 15 of his first 17 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns, the last of them a 23-yarder to Greg Childs that gave the Razorbacks a 43-37 lead with 14:09 remaining.
It was all Auburn from there. Well, Auburn and the guys upstairs, who already had made a crucial first-half ruling that preserved a TD for the Tigers.
After Newton’s scoring pass to Blake, Arkansas picked up one first down and appeared to have another when Broderick Green ran for 4 yards. As he was brought down, the ball suddenly popped loose. Zac Etheridge wisely picked it up for Auburn and took off the other way, going 47 yards to the end zone.
Then, it was time for the replay officials to do their thing.
The video appeared to show Green putting a knee on the ground a split-second before the ball popped loose. Apparently, though, that wasn’t definitive enough to overturn the call on the field. Touchdown, Auburn.
Texas 20, Nebraska 13 — Garrett Gilbert ran for two TDs and the Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) shut down Taylor Martinez and the No. 5 Cornhuskers (5-1, 1-1) in Lincoln, Neb.
Texas surprised Nebraska by turning Gilbert loose in the run game for the first time this season. The quarterback ran for 71 yards on 11 carries, scoring from 3 and 1 yards.
The Longhorns also stymied a Nebraska offense that had been averaging 494 yards a game, holding the Huskers to just 202 yards. Martinez was held to a season-low 21 yards on 13 carries before being pulled in the third quarter.
Boise St. 48, San Jose St. 0 — Titus Young ran for one score and caught a pass for another TD to help the No. 3 Broncos (6-0, 2-0 WAC) post a lopsided win over the host Spartans (1-6, 0-2).
TCU 31, BYU 3 — Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes and the No. 4 Horned Frogs (7-0, 3-0 Mountain West) narrowly missed a third consecutive shutout in a rout of the visiting Cougars (2-5, 1-2).
Oklahoma 52, Iowa St. 0 — DeMarco Murray scored three times to surpass 1969 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens’s school record of 57 touchdowns and the No. 6 Sooners (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) trounced the visiting Cyclones (3-4, 1-2).
Alabama 23, Mississippi 10 — One week after having their 19-game win streak broken, the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) rebounded with a home victory over the Rebels (3-3, 1-2). Trent Richardson took a screen pass 85 yards for a TD in the third quarter, giving Alabama a 23-3 lead.
LSU 32, McNeese St. 10 — Stevan Ridley rushed for two touchdowns and the ninth-ranked Tigers (7-0) wore down the visiting Cowboys.
Utah 30, Wyoming 6 — Jordan Wynn passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and the No. 11 Utes (6-0, 3-0 Mountain West) blew out the host Cowboys (2-5, 0-3).
Michigan St. 26, Illinois 6 — Kirk Cousins threw a 48-yard TD pass to B.J. Cunningham in the third quarter, helping the host No. 13 Spartans (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) to their best start since 1966.
Iowa 38, Michigan 28 — Ricky Stanzi threw his third TD pass to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos early in the fourth quarter and the No. 15 Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) held off the host Wolverines (5-2, 1-2). Michigan’s Tate Forcier threw a pair of TD passes in relief of Denard Robinson (shoulder injury).
Arizona 24, Washington St. 7 — Keola Antolin ran for two TDs and the No. 17 Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) overcame the loss of quarterback Nick Foles (leg injury) to beat the host Cougars (1-6, 0-4).
Oklahoma St. 34, Texas Tech 17 — Justin Blackmon had 207 yards receiving with a touchdown to lead the No. 20 Cowboys (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) to their first win in Lubbock, Texas, since 1944.
Missouri 30, Texas A&M 9 — Blaine Gabbert threw for a 361 yards and three touchdowns and the No. 21 Tigers (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) routed the struggling Aggies (3-3, 0-2) in College Station, Texas.
Mississippi St. 10, Florida 7 — Chris Relf had 82 yards and a TD on the ground for the Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2 SEC), and the No. 22 Gators (4-3, 2-3) lost consecutive home games for the first time since 2003.
San Diego St. 27, Air Force 25 — Freshman Ronnie Hillman scored on runs of 65 and 44 yards as the host Aztecs (4-2, 1-1 Mountain West) upset the No. 25 Falcons (5-2, 3-1).