AUBURN, Ala. (Sports Network) - Onterio McCalebb's 70-yard touchdown run with 5:05 remaining in the game turned out to be the difference in fifth-ranked Auburn's 24-17 win over sixth-ranked LSU in an SEC showdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Cam Newton ran for a career-high 217 yards on 28 carries to become the SEC's single-season rushing leader for quarterbacks, as Auburn (8-0, 5-0 SEC) rolled up 440 yards on the ground to start 8-0 for the first time since 2004.
Newton also rushed for two touchdowns to set the Auburn single-season record with 27 combined scores running and passing. He also connected on 10-of-16 throws for 86 yards for Auburn, which has won 10 of its last 17 games against teams ranked in the top-10.
Jordan Jefferson completed 7-of-14 passes for 46 yards and carried 16 times for 74 yards and a score for LSU (7-1, 4-1), which missed an opportunity to start 5-0 in conference play for the first time since 1973.
The winner of this game has gone to claim the SEC West Division title in six of the last 10 seasons.
Three plays after an LSU punt, McCalebb took a handoff running left and burst through a crease at his own 40 yard line and went untouched the remaining 60 yards down the left sideline to snap a 17-17 tie.
On the ensuing possession, LSU called timeout facing a 4th-and-6 at its own 30-yard line. The Tigers had only 10 men on the field when they lined up and after some confusion, got the ball snapped with the full compliment of 11. But, quarterback Jarrett Lee was forced to scramble out of the pocket and was stopped well short of the first down.
Auburn took over and was able to run out the clock after Newton ran for two first downs, including an 11-yard gallop on 3rd and 6 from the LSU 17.
LSU moved methodically to the Auburn 37 on 12 plays on its first touch before Jefferson's pass off the hands of a leaping Rueben Randle was intercepted at the 13 by Zac Etheridge, who brought it back to his own 46.
From there, the hosts moved quickly down the field on six plays to take the lead with 5 1/2 minutes to go in the opening quarter.
Michael Dyer ran for 16 yards to the LSU one-yard line before Newton ran over safety Brandon Taylor at the goal line into the end zone.
LSU responded on its next possession with a nine-play, 40-yard drive that culminated in a Josh Jasper 48-yard field goal with 1:47 to go in the period.
Auburn bridged the end of the first and the start of the second quarters with a 10-play drive that Wes Byrum finished with a 42-yard field goal to pass his predecessor John Vaughn as the Tigers' all-time leading scorer with 313 points.
Byrum missed from 39 yards away with 2:45 remaining before the break and the visitors were able to take advantage by mounting a 14-play, 78-yard drive that led to the tying touchdown.
Jefferson kept the drive going with a 16-yard scamper to the Auburn 24 on 3rd- and-16 before a pass interference call put the visitors at the two with 35 ticks left in the half. Following a run for no gain by Stevan Ridley, LSU spiked the ball with 19 seconds left to bring up a crucial third down.
Jefferson took a shotgun snap, rolled right, worked free from a potential sack at the 10 and dashed into the end zone with 15 seconds left to tie the game.
Newton then ran 49 yards for a spectacular TD with just under four minutes into in the third to put the hosts back on top.
He took a shotgun snap, ran up the middle and then to his right before he shed a tackle, put his left hand on the ground to keep his balance, sliced back to his left and burst into another gear only to be caught from behind by Patrick Peterson, who was dragged the final five yards into the end zone.
After managing one first down in the third quarter, LSU tied the game again with 12:16 left on Spencer Ware's 39-yard halfback option TD pass to Randle, who scampered in after he outjumped a defender to make the grab at the 10.