Cam Newton has taken the nation by blitzkrieg during the 2010 college football season. He has astonished fans of his team as well as those of opposing teams with his incredible feats on the gridiron. Why has Cam Newton been so successful this season?
There are several factors that figure into his success. He has incredible physical talent that he has developed with abundant hard work and dedication. They are the skills of a Heisman-level running back in the 6’6”, 250-pound body of an NFL tight end with the passing ability of a good SEC quarterback.
While these are all contributors, they are qualities that have been observed by fans before in the SEC. There are a few factors that tend to be overlooked in all the hype.
There is a perfect storm occurring for Cam Newton at Auburn. He has been able to become the leader of one of the most talented offenses in college football and the plays are being called by possibly the best offensive coordinator in college football.
Early in the season both Gus Malzahn and Cam Newton were becoming accustomed to their roles in the offense. There was the usual trial and error process of finding out exactly how Cam’s abilities could be utilized. It is obvious that both have become more accustomed to his abilities every week.
Gus Malzahn has long been an accepted expert of getting physically gifted athletes the ball in space to allow them to perform at their peak. He is getting better at this with Cam Newton every week as well.
While there is little doubt at this point that Cam Newton is the most dominant player in college football, there are a multitude of reasons why opposing defenses cannot concentrate on stopping him.
Auburn has three of the best running backs in college football in the backfield with Newton. When Arkansas keyed in on stopping Newton in last week’s offensive showdown, they were gashed by plays from Mario Fannin, Onterio McCalebb and Michael Dyer. It was a pick-your-poison scenario.
It does not stop there. Auburn has one of the best tight ends in the SEC in Philip Lutzenkirchen that can lead block or catch a pass with equal skill and precision. They also have the deepest receiving corps in the SEC with several players with elite speed.
When Cam Newton takes the field, he has all of these weapons at his disposal. He has the choice to utilize one of these weapons or take the initiative himself on every play. How does a defensive coordinator plan to stop Cam Newton?
The only way any team will ever be able to shut down this Auburn offense is if they have the talent to cover every Auburn offensive player man on man and win out. With one of the best offensive lines in the nation up front, this is a task that is not enviable.
What team has the talent to cover Cameron Newton, Philip Lutzenkirchen, Darvin Adams, Emory Blake, Terrell Zachery, Mario Fannin and Onterio McCalebb on even one play and expect to win out?
Auburn plays the best and most talented defense in the SEC this weekend. There is good reason to believe that they are the best and most talented defense in the nation. They are led by one of the best and most experienced defensive coordinators in the nation.
If LSU cannot stop the Auburn offense this week, what team can hope to do so?
While fans are likely watching one of the most dominant Heisman performances in the history of college football, there is much more going into these performances than individual effort. It is very doubtful that simply stopping Cam Newton would do more than expose opposing defenses to the multitude of talent at other positions on this offense.
This is truly a difficult conundrum for opposing defensive coordinators. It is certainly one more reason why these defensive coordinators are paid as well as they are.