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Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010

Auburn football notes: Place-kicker Wes Byrum becomes program's all-time scoring leader during win over LSU

- abitter@ledger-enquirer.com
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AUBURN, Ala. — Nobody in Auburn history has scored more points than place-kicker Wes Byrum.

The senior moved to the top spot on the Tigers’ all-time scoring list with a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter of No. 4 Auburn’s 24-17 win Saturday against No. 6 LSU.

Byrum’s kick moved him past his predecessor, John Vaughn, who set the standard with 312 points from 2003-06.

“It is very humbling to be on top of the list,” Byrum said. “It isn’t something you think about during the game because of the gravity of the game. It is something I’ll be able to look back on later and appreciate.”

Byrum finished with six points, giving him 315 for his career. Only 20 other players in SEC history have reached the 300-point barrier.

Newton’s law

Quarterback Cam Newton continued to assault the record books Saturday with a career-high 217 rushing yards and two scores:

Ÿ Newton’s 1,077 rushing yards broke former Auburn quarterback Jimmy Sidle’s single-season SEC quarterback rushing record of 1,006 set in 1963.

Ÿ He has accounted for 27 touchdowns this year (14 rushing, 13 passing), breaking Pat Sullivan’s school record of 26 set in 1970.

Ÿ Newton owns five of the school’s top 50 rushing performances despite having played just eight games.

Ÿ He became the 19th player in Auburn history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Ÿ Newton’s 14 rushing touchdowns are tied for fourth-most in school history for a single season, three shy of the record.

Bates injured

Linebacker Daren Bates went down with a shoulder injury on LSU’s touchdown play just before halftime.

Bates, a sophomore, lunged at LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson near the goal line but missed. Jefferson ran in from 2 yards out to tie the game at 10 with 15 seconds left in the half.

Bates was tended to by the trainers after the play and was helped off the field as he favored his right side.

He didn’t return in the second half, and coach Gene Chizik gave no indication of the extent of the injury.

Sophomore Jonathan Evans replaced him in the second half and finished with three tackles, getting in on one tackle for a loss.

Juggling quarterbacks

LSU coach Les Miles started Jordan Jefferson at quarterback, but he didn’t stick with him long.

Miles rotated Jefferson and Jarrett Lee liberally throughout the game. Neither had much success.

Jefferson handled the first two series, throwing an interception on the first. In came Lee, but not for long. Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley hit him hard, forcing him out for the rest of the half with a right wrist injury.

Lee returned but wasn’t effective. He finished 8-for-14 for 43 yards.

Jefferson was 7-for-14 for 46 yards, although he added 74 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Not so special

A week after its best special-teams effort of the year, Auburn left a lot to be desired against LSU.

LSU won the battle of field position, mostly because of its punter. Derek Helton had a 53.2-yard average on five punts, four of which were downed inside the 20.

Auburn punt returner Quindarius Carr elected not to fair catch any of them. As a result, three were downed inside Auburn’s 2-yard line.

“Special teams-wise, we put our offense in the hole just about the whole second half, which was really disappointing,” Chizik said.

Auburn freshman punter Steven Clark, meanwhile, had a modest 37.3-yard average on three punts. LSU return man extraordinaire Patrick Peterson returned one for 19 yards but otherwise didn’t break anything big.

Quick hits

LT Lee Ziemba started his 46th straight game, three shy of the school record held by Will Herring. … LB Josh Bynes finished with 11 tackles, the sixth time in his career he has reached double digits in a game. … CB T’Sharvan Bell (hamstring) wasn’t in uniform. … LB Eltoro Freeman (various injuries) suited up and played for the first time in three weeks. He didn’t have a tackle in minimal playing time.

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