By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Josh Holsey, who spends his Saturdays trying to beat quarterbacks, appreciates the tough ones who'll give it all for his teammates.
Josh Holsey, Auburn defensive back, says Sean White, his quarterback, is one of those guys.
"When you have a quarterback scrambling for third-and-8 and sacrificing his body to keep drives going, it's big," Holsey says. "That's like the leader of the team, almost, so when he's doing things like that, there's nothing but to feed off that.
"He's playing really great right now and our run game is helping him play even better. It’s great to see him out there sacrificing his body to get those first downs and keep drives going. I was happy to see him do that."
Sean White, Auburn quarterback, has helped the Tigers turn around their season and win five straight to improve to 6-2, while leading the Southeastern Conference in passing efficiency and, most recently, helping lead his team to a 40-29 win over Ole Miss with a season-high 247 passing yards.
Auburn is in the unique position of having the passing efficiency leader in White, and the leading rusher in Kamryn Pettway.
"We just have a team offense. I really believe that," White said. "Whether we're throwing, whether we're running, it doesn't matter who is getting the ball… Kerryon, Pettway, Stanton… everybody is just trying to get each other open and block for each other. It doesn't matter who scores. We're just trying to put up yards and put up points, and that's what is important to all of us."
Yes, Sean White can run, too. Pass when needed. But, often, his teammates and coaches talk about his toughness. Take the Ole Miss game…
"He played an outstanding game," coach Gus Malzahn said Saturday. And of one key play, "he sacrificed his body and found a way.
"He is starting to really evolve as a quarterback in this league and really starting to establish himself as a really good quarterback in this league.
"He is a tough guy. The team had respect for him already because he is a tough guy, but now he is starting to become more of a run threat. He is starting to do the little things that a good quarterback in this league does. His teammates and his coaches have respect for his toughness, and that has been there all along."
White showed his toughness last season trying to play through injuries.
"He played when he probably shouldn't have played, but that's just his competitive fire," Malzahn said.
White passed only 11 times the previous game against Arkansas. He didn't need to do more on the way to a 56-3 win. But he threw 22 times against Ole Miss because the score was close.
"It gives you confidence because your coach is putting you in position to just go out there and play and make plays," White said.
"It doesn't matter if we're throwing and running, we're putting up points. When they call my number, it's my responsibility to my teammate to go out there and make a play."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine