AUBURN, Ala. - Cam Newton ran for 217 yards and Onterio McCalebb sprinted 70 yards for the go-ahead score with 5:05 left to lift No. 4 Auburn to a 24-17 victory over No. 6 LSU yesterday.
The host Tigers (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) moved on as the powerful league's last unbeaten team after gutting out yet another close win. LSU (7-1, 4-1) finally had a Les Miles gamble backfire in an adventurous season.
Newton didn't do anything to set back his Heisman Trophy candidacy against the SEC's top defense. He ran for two touchdowns and broke the league's single-season rushing mark for a quarterback of 1,006 yards by Auburn's Jimmy Sidle in 1963. He also topped Heisman winner Pat Sullivan's 40-year-old school mark of 26 TDs rushing and passing in a season.
Miles stirred up late-game weirdness again. He opted to go for it on fourth-and-6 from LSU's 30 with 3:27 left. LSU took a timeout and still seemed unsure of what it wanted to do on the pivotal play. Jarrett Lee tried to scramble for the first down but was stopped well short by Neiko Thorpe.
Newton ran for two first downs before taking a knee twice to let the clock run out.
Newton was just a decoy on the deciding scoring play. McCalebb came across on a sweep that Newton often fakes on and keeps for some of his biggest runs. This time he gave it away and the speedy McCalebb made one cut and won the sprint to the end zone.
With that, Auburn had covered 90 yards in three plays.
Newton ran 28 times, turned in a highlight-reel 49-yard touchdown and completed 10 of 16 passes for 86 yards. Freshman Mike Dyer ran for 100 yards on 15 carries and McCalebb ran four times for 84.
Auburn ran for 440 yards and gained 526 total against the nation's No. 3 defense, which came in allowing 242 yards a game.
A much-maligned Auburn defense allowed just 243 yards - including 21/2 sacks by tackle Nick Fairley - and limited Lee and Jordan Jefferson to a combined 89 yards passing. Jefferson did run for 74 yards.- AP