On Saturday, Auburn scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and connected on a Hail Mary touchdown before halftime, putting the game out of reach as the Tigers (13-0) ran over, past, and through South Carolina (8-5) to win the SEC Championship, 56-17.
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, whose eligibility was confirmed/reinstated earlier this week by the NCAA, finished the game with 335 yards passing and completed 17 of 28 pass attempts, including four for touchdowns. He also ran for 73 yards and for two scores on the day, totaling six touchdowns in the win.
Newton's performance made him the only player in SEC history to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same year. (Newton has thrown for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns this season while rushing for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns.) He is expected to be among the finalists for the Heisman Trophy which will be presented Saturday, December 11, in New York.
South Carolina traded scores with Auburn early as QB Stephen Garcia found open receivers, and the Gamecocks rushing game seemed to find ground.
After the halftime break, the Gamecocks barely managed to move the ball as Auburn's defense turned up the heat on Garcia. It forced an interception which was returned for a touchdown and kept the Gamecocks from finding any consistent footing for the rest of the contest.
Auburn's performance broke or tied multiple SEC Championship Game marks. Auburn's 56 points, eight touchdowns, and 39-point margin of victory are all records. Auburn's 589 yards of total offense broke its previous record of 559, which was recorded in 2004.
Additionally, Auburn's Cam Newton tied Florida's Danny Wuerffel for most TDs responsible for with six on the day. Wide receiver Darvin Adams set a SEC Championship Game record with 217 yards receiving. Place kicker Wes Byrum set the SEC Championship Game record with eight PATs attempted and made.
Multiple bowl projections have Auburn facing Oregon for the BCS National Championship in Glendale, Arizona, January 10, 2011. South Carolina, along with eight other bowl-eligible SEC teams, will learn their bowl destinations on Sunday, December 5, when bowl announcements are made public.