Newton, Blanc Named SEC Players Of The Week

Auburn's Cameron Newton and Mike Blanc have been named SEC Players of the Week following the Tigers' win over South Carolina.

Auburn, Ala.--For the second time in his first four weeks as a starter Auburn junior quarterback Cameron Newton has been named the Southeastern Conference's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in a 35-27 win over South Carolina. This week he's not alone though as senior Mike Blanc has been named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week as well, the league office announced Monday.

Newton led Auburn's offense against the Gamecocks with 176 yards and three touchdowns on the ground while completing 16-of-21 passes for 158 yards and two more scores. It marked the second time this season that Newton has accounted for five touchdowns in a game. He is also the first player in Auburn history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of the first four games of the season.

"I'm just trying to do whatever it takes to win a football game," Newton said. "Whether that's by throwing the ball or running the ball. If we get the W then I'm happy."

Becoming first Auburn player since Kenny Irons in 2005 to win the award twice in a season, Newton was not only explosive but efficient as well. Of Newton's 25 rushing attempts, 11 went for first downs, and he also threw for eight first downs, making him responsible for 19 of Auburn's 29 first downs in the game. Of his 46 offensive plays, only six did not gain yardage and only one lost yardage.

Mike Blanc had a big game for the Tigers.

Just as impressive and important was the play of Blanc and the entire Auburn defensive front. The senior collected a season-high seven tackles (three solos) against the Gamecocks. He also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter and batted down a pass as the Tigers held South Carolina to just 79 yards rushing, 119 below its average for the year.

"We knew that South Carolina was going to come in and be physical," Blanc said. "The coaches put in it our mind that they were going to come in and try to win the game by running the ball and we were determined not to let that happen. We had a lot of guys playing physical football up front and we did a good job of getting off blocks."

It is the first SEC weekly award of Blanc's career and he becomes the second Auburn defensive lineman to be honored by the league this season. Nick Fairley was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week following Auburn's win at Mississippi State Sept. 9.

10th-ranked Auburn (4-0) will return to action this Saturday when the Tigers host ULM. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. CT and be televised by ESPNU.


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