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Auburn asking tough guy Sean White to play it smart
Sean White's on the run in directing Auburn's offense
Sept. 13, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- That crazy play where Kerryon Johnson started on one sideline, raced across the field and scored streaking down the other sideline?

Auburn quarterback Sean White got up from flat on the ground and was last seen running down field trying to find somebody to block.

"There's a fine line and he's a tough guy," said coach Gus Malzahn.

White crossed that line last season, got injured a couple of times, and missed the Texas A&M game because of it. He's certainly bounced back from that and is expected to be in fine form this Saturday when the Aggies visit Jordan-Hare Stadium at 6 p.m.

White's devil-may-care play has scored points with his coaches and teammates, though, on some plays, Malzahn said being smart may be the better part of valor.

"There's a time to do that and there is a time to use better judgment. That was probably the one that stood out to me," Malzahn said.

On the upside, "He didn't block a soul," said offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

"He was directing traffic more than he was blocking, but he was able to celebrate in the end, that's what his teammates love about him. I don't want him to try to go out and try to take out a defensive line in that process, but I'm glad he shows that kind of effort."

White opened up everything with his running on other plays, rushing for a career-high 60 yards and throwing a career-high three touchdown passes in a 51-14 win over Arkansas State. The combination of running and passing may give Texas A&M pause as it prepares for Auburn.

In any case, Malzahn said Tuesday he was glad to see it.

"I thought that was a big factor that he had some rushing yards," Malzahn said at his weekly press conference. "We talked about that in the offseason, that we're at our best when our quarterback is a running threat.

"He is confident. That definitely was good the other night. Moving forward, I know his teammates are confident in him too."

Malzahn said he likes White's rushing yards, but "you've to know when to get down, and when to get down and get the extra yards, but that comes with experience. Definitely, we talk about those things in different plays and what we expect."

Malzahn said White was in the meetings leading up to the Texas A&M game last year, but he wasn't much of a threat to play because of ankle and knee injuries.

"He was pretty banged up," Malzahn said. "We warmed him up in pre-game and I don't think he could move."

Instead, Jeremy Johnson hit his first nine passes, threw a touchdown pass and Auburn beat the No. 19 Aggies 26-10 in College Station.

Now, a new season and a different starter.

"I think we have some things to build upon," Malzahn said. "We've got to continue to improve. We've got to play better than we played last Saturday to win this game."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:
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