OXFORD, Miss. -- Gene Chizik said his Auburn football team isn’t into making statements.
But the No. 1 Tigers are into winning football games and doing it any way they see fit.
“One night, somebody else steps up to the plate, and that’s what is special about this team,” Auburn freshman running back Mike Dyer said. “Everybody on this team has something to give.”
Dyer’s offering was a career-high, 180-yard rushing night in Auburn’s 51-31 battering of Ole Miss on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
He was one of many in the giving mood on an Auburn team that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in the race for college football's top prize.
The Tigers (9-0, 6-0) were playing their first game ever as the No. 1 team in the BCS standings -- and they haven’t been No. 1 in either one of the polls since 1985 when Bo Jackson was a senior. They looked like old pros Saturday at shouldering the burden of having the country's aim on their back.
“We don’t play perfect all the time,” Chizik said. “Sometimes it isn’t as good-looking or as pretty as we’d like it to be, but the results are the same.”
And in this one, there was more than just the Cam Newton Show. A lot more.
Onterio McCalebb had a 68-yard touchdown run, his second long touchdown run in as many weeks. He scorched against LSU on a 70-yarder that was the difference in that game.
Demond Washington raced 95 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return after Ole Miss had pulled within 24-17 in the second quarter.
Dyer’s 180 rushing yards included a 30-yard touchdown romp.
The passing game produced 229 yards and three touchdown passes, and Newton had a relatively light day at the office when it came to running the ball.
But he did have a touchdown catch, a 20-yarder from Kodi Burns that the Tigers had been working on and saving for just the right time.
“Coach challenged me, that he was going to call it this week because of what we’d seen throughout the week on the film,” said Newton, who was held to 45 rushing yards on 11 carries. “It was the perfect time to call it, and it worked.”
The Rebels were determined not to let Newton beat them running the football. They closed up the middle and rarely tried to bring any pressure.
Auburn’s answer was to torch them on the perimeter and turn Newton loose in the passing game. He finished 18-of-24 for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
“That just goes to show you what we’re capable of doing with our receivers,” Newton said. “We have an excellent passing attack that’s capable of striking at any time. A lot of people haven’t really seen that because we haven’t brought that rabbit out of our hat yet.”
Still, the Tigers rushed for 343 yards. That’s after rushing for 440 yards last week against an LSU defense that came into the game ranked sixth nationally against the run.
Auburn also showed a few new wrinkles, including the trick play Newton scored on. He may not be a receiver by trade, but he looked awfully comfortable going up and getting the football.
“Our trick plays are our normal plays,” Chizik said. “That’s part of what we do. Some people will call them tricks or what not. Within our offense, we do a lot of things that are staples in our offense. That’s what we do. That’s what we practice. You’ll see them again.”
In five games this season, Auburn has surpassed 500 yards in total offense. The Tigers finished with 572 yards on Saturday, the most they’ve gained this season against an SEC defense.
“So many people come to mind when you talk about Auburn’s offense, not just me,” Newton said. “Of course, I don’t want to have all the attention on me. That just makes my job harder.
“Those other guys came out, and any time they had an opportunity to make a play, they did.”
It’s been that way all season, the Auburn way.