Auburn's Sean White stands in the pocket, and wins praise from Gus Malzahn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Auburn coach Gus Malzahn praised his defense on Saturday's performance against Mississippi State, and he also threw around some compliments toward some offensive players during his appearance on the school's Tiger Talk radio show Monday night.
Malzahn said running back Peyton Barber has impressed in his first season as Auburn's principal running back. And he said quarterback Sean White was solid in his first start in his first college game.
"The moment wasn't too big for him," Malzahn said. "He showed some toughness. He showed some grit. I think he made a really strong impression on his teammates."
Mississippi State won the game 17-9, but Malzahn said he sensed things were turning for the better. And White, who is not the biggest guy around at 6-foot-even, provided some spark.
"The thing about throwing the football, whether you're six-foot or you're 6-6, you have to throw in windows," Malzahn said. "My experience is some guys have good vision and some guys have trouble with vision. Sean is one of those guys who sees the field pretty well. I thought he did a really good job for his first time out going through his progressions. He sees the field, and that's very important.
Also, "He runs the football better than most people think. He's got some quickness, he's got some toughness. He competed out there."
White, one game into his college career, is 20-of-28 passing for 188 yards.
Malzahn praised former starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
"He's in a tough spot, but he's very supportive of Sean. He's got his teammates' respect. That's the type of kid he is."
Malzahn said Barber "has been our workhorse. He has really impressed coaches and his teammates with his toughness and desire. He's really brought that physical edge from the running back position.
He wants the ball. He wants to practice hard. He just does everything right. He's a fine young man."
Barber has 411 yards and a touchdown rushing.
Malzahn thanked the fans for staying with his Tigers last Saturday. "Our crowd was unbelievable."
"There were a lot of positives. We're disappointed we didn't win. Our fans are disappointed. But there were positives."
And, "I still feel very strongly that this team will finish strong."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine