Cameron Newton threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two more as No. 23 Auburn routed Arkansas State 52-26 for a season-opening victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night.
Newton was an efficient 9-of-14 for 187 yards passing with two touchdowns to Mario Fannin of 38 and 36 yards and another to Quindarius Carr for 48 yards.
The Tigers' new quarterback also rushed for 171 yards, including a 71-romp with 2:34 left in the second quarter as Auburn grabbed a 35-16 halftime lead. He also scored on a two-yard run.
Newton led Blinn (Texas) to the national junior college title in 2009. He was a backup to Tim Tebow at Florida in 2007 and part of 2008.
Michael Dyer had 95 yards on 14 carries and a two-yard touchdown.
The Tigers improved to 15-0 against the Sun Belt Conference. Arkansas State, which earned a $1 million payday in the thrashing, fell to 1-47-3 all-time against current SEC members.