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September 27, 2010

Newton, Blanc earn SEC honors

Auburn junior quarterback Cameron Newton has been named the Southeastern Conference's Offensive Player of the Week and senior Mike Blanc has been named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

The duo was recognized following Auburn's 35-27 victory over No. 12 South Carolina on Saturday. It marks the fourth consecutive week that an Auburn player has been named the league's top offensive or defensive player.

Newton paced Auburn's offense against South Carolina, rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns, and 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.

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.

Newton is the first player in Auburn history to throw at least two touchdown passes in each of the first four games of a season. He is also the only player in the SEC this season to have two rushing performances of 170+ yards.

It marked the second time this season that Newton has been the SEC Offensive Player of the Week, making him the first Tiger to earn that award twice in the same season since Kenny Irons in 2005.

Blanc was recognized as the league's top defensive lineman after collecting a season-high seven tackles (three solos) against the Gamecocks. He also recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter and batted down a pass.

Blanc helped lead an Auburn defensive line that held South Carolina to just 79 yards rushing, 119 yards below the Gamecocks' season average (198.3).

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.

Auburn 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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