Auburn's Newton, Fairley and Coach Chizik earn top honors

AUBURN - Auburn junior quarterback Cam Newton and junior defensive tackle Nick Fairley were named the Southeastern Conference's Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, and Gene Chizik was named SEC Coach of the Year Monday by the Associated Press.

Newton and Fairley were two of four Tigers named to the Associated Press' All-SEC First Team, while eight Auburn players were honored in all. Senior offensive tackle Lee Ziemba and senior center Ryan Pugh were also named to the first team, with Ziemba joining Newton and Fairley as unanimous selections.

The All-SEC Second Team included senior offensive guard Byron Isom, senior defensive end Antoine Carter and senior linebacker Josh Bynes, while senior safety Zac Etheridge earned honorable mention recognition.

Newton has accounted for a nation-best 49 touchdowns this season, setting Auburn single-season records for passing touchdowns (28) and rushing touchdowns (20) while also catching one. He leads the nation in passing efficiency (188.16) and leads the SEC in rushing (108.4) and total offense (307.5).

Fairley leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally with a school record 21 tackles for loss, and ranks second in the league with 10.5 quarterback sacks. He is fifth on the team with 55 tackles this season, and has also recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble, intercepted a pass and has 21 quarterback hurries.

Ziemba, Pugh and Isom each started all 13 games and have been key parts of Auburn's record-setting offense that leads the SEC in scoring offense (42.7), total offense (497.7), rushing offense (287.2) and first downs (24.3). The Tigers rushed for more than 300 yards against six consecutive SEC opponents for the first time in school history, and have scored at least 50 points a school-record six times this season.

Bynes leads the team in tackles with 71 and interceptions with three for 33 yards. Bynes also has 5.5 tackles for a loss of 16 yards, a quarterback sack, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. Carter has 31 tackles this season, including 10 for loss – a mark that ties him for 18th in the SEC. He is 14th in the league in quarterback sacks with 4.5 and has 17 quarterback hurries this season.

Etheridge is second on the team in tackles with 66 and has two interceptions, returning them for 52 yards. He also has 1.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery on the season.

Chizik, now in his second year leading the Tigers, has led Auburn to a 13-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the BCS, AP and Harris polls. He guided the team to the SEC Championship and a berth in the Tostito's BCS National Championship game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.