Auburn Football 2011
Last season’s record: 14-0 [SEC Champions, National Champions]
Returning starters/lettermen: 6/31
* Quarterback Cam Newton completed 185-for-280 passes for 2,854 yards with seven interceptions and 30 touchdowns on his way to being named SEC Offensive Player of the Year. The Heisman Trophy winner set an SEC rushing record for quarterbacks with 1,473 yards. He rushed for 20 touchdowns and also caught a TD pass. Newton was the first player selected in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
* Tackle Nick Fairley was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman. He made 60 tackles with 11 1/2 sacks in 2010 and added 21 quarterback pressures plus an intercepted pass. Fairley was a first round draft pick by the Detroit Lions.
* Wide receiver Darvin Adams led Auburn in receptions with 52 for 993 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also the leading receiver in 2009.
* Tailback Michael Dyer broke Bo Jackson’s rushing record for Auburn freshmen. He carried the football 182 times for 1,093 yards and five touchdowns.
* Junior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen caught 15 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns while also playing a key role as a blocker.
* Neiko Thorpe, a two-year starter at cornerback, made 64 tackles last season. He is moving to free safety for his senior season.
Best Game: Nov. 26, Alabama at Auburn. Since 2000, the Tigers have an 8-3 record vs. their archrival and will try to keep the trend going.
Projected Finish: 8-4
The Tigers must replace eight starters on offense and eight on defense after losing 24 seniors from the national championship team. Auburn has recruited very well the past two seasons and will have plenty of talent, but much of it is in the freshman, redshirt freshman and sophomore classes so lack of experience could be an issue. Auburn also faces a demanding schedule in 2011 with road tests at Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia.
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