Auburn Football 2010: Week 3 Awards From Win Over Clemson
Auburn and Clemson played in another great battle on Saturday night. Just as it occurred on December 31, 2007, Auburn emerged victorious in overtime.
Both teams played extremely tough, physical football. Both teams had spurts of momentum. But it was Auburn that managed to come out on top.
Here's some postgame awards.
Game Ball Goes To...
the Auburn Student Section.
Gene Chizik challenged students on Wednesday to be "All In," and they did just that. Everyone was there early and brought great energy, especially to start the second half.
There's no doubt that the crowd helped influence that comeback and field goal miss in overtime by Clemson. And for that, they get a game ball.
With the game tied at 17 in the third quarter, Gus Malzahn dialed up a double move for Terrell Zachary.
In order for the play to work, Newton had to wait for things to develop. He did just that, and delivered an absolute strike down the sideline for a touchdown.
For most of the game, the horizontal running game was absent from Auburn's offense. But early in the third quarter, Onterio McCalebb got Auburn their first touchdown of the game.
On a jet sweep, McCalebb took the ball outside the receivers, then made a great cut to stay in bounds, avoiding the last defender and getting into the end zone.
It's the kind of run McCalebb wouldn't have made last season, and another sign that he is progressing as a running back in Gus Malzahn's system.
The best catch of the night went to Darvin Adams.
He bailed out Cam Newton on multiple occasions. Down by seven points, Adams made an incredible touchdown grab.
It was a simple back shoulder throw into the end zone, but it was a little farther to the outside than expected. Adams barely drug a toe in bounds for the score, although initially it was called incomplete.
He caught five passes for 118 yards and that touchdown. After having a quiet opening two games, it appears Adams is still going to be able to make plays despite the extra attention he is getting after his breakout 2009.
Best Defensive Play
In the first quarter, with Clemson already up 7-0, the defense made a great stand.
On 4th and 1 in Auburn territory, Clemson decided to go for it. Nick Fairley took up two blockers and allowed Josh Bynes and others to come in and tackle the running back for a loss.
Plays like this kept the game at a reasonable margin for the Auburn offense to come back from.
Most Outstanding Position Unit
It's a close call, but I'll take the linebackers. After the opening Clemson drive, they adjusted extremely well and held Clemson to 17 points the rest of the way.
Josh Bynes was named Defensive Player of the Week after his 11-tackle performance. Daren Bates, Craig Stevens, and Eltoro Freeman also made plays.
Their punishing hits on Kyle Parker and others took their toll as the game progressed.
Most Valuable Player
Wes Byrum was completely clutch on Saturday night, as coaches hope that senior kickers will be.
He nailed a 35-yarder on the last play of the first half to get Auburn on the board. Then he made a 39-yard kick in overtime that proved to be the game winning points. If not for either of those kicks, Auburn probably doesn't win that game.
Best Coaching Decision
I know people probably didn't like it, but Gene Chizik's decision to punt on the second to last drive of the game was the correct call.
It was 4th and 2 at the Clemson 40. If Auburn had failed to convert, Clemson would have gotten great field position with plenty of time to get into field goal range.
Instead Ryan Shoemaker pinned Clemson inside their own 10 and eventually had to punt the ball back. Sometimes the correct call isn't popular, but it was definitely the right one int hat situation.