There may be more Kerryon Johnson in Auburn's future
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Quarterback Sean White's bad knee is apparently good to go for Saturday's game at Texas A&M, but there are some underlying moves going on in Auburn's offense.
Coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday that receiver Stanton Truitt will have shoulder surgery Thursday and is out for the year. He said Kerryon Johnson has done well as the Wildcat quarterback and needs to play more. He said running back Peyton Barber, who was slowed by injury last week, is rounding back into shape. He said running back Jovon Robinson could play more after a breakout game last week. He said Jonathan Wallace, the former quarterback who was turned into a receiver, is taking snaps in practice as the emergency quarterback.
White impressed all when he played against Ole Miss last week with a swollen knee after missing almost all of the week's practice. He's expected to give it a go again in Saturday's 6:30 p.m. game at Texas A&M.
"He's still a little banged up, but we expect him to play," Malzahn said Tuesday. "He showed a lot of guts and a lot of toughness because we really were prepared for him not to play, and we got there in pre-game and he was very determined: 'I'm ready to go. I can do it.'"
The offensive line is intact, but injuries have resulted in other changes:
• Stanton Truitt, who had one catch for 13 yards, suffered his season-ending shoulder injury against Arkansas.
"It's been really tough on him. He's battled a lot of injuries," said Malzahn said. "He's a great kid. I definitely feel for him. He's a dynamic-type player with his feet that it'll be tough on him not to have the rest of the year."
• Kerryon Johnson, a running back by trade, has added Wildcat quarterback to his resume the last three games.
"He's the type of guy that needs to be on the field more, and not just in the second half, but the first half, too," Malzahn said. "We got to do a better job of getting him on the field more."
Malzahn also said, "we really think that he's got some skills that we talked about last week even expanding that package. Moving forward, not just this year but next year, he'll be a very good Wildcat guy."
• Barber, Auburn's leading rusher, was limited to eight carries for 18 yards because of an injury against Ole Miss.
"We expect him to play this week," Malzahn said. Last week, "there were some questions going into the game; he didn't practice a lot."
• So in stepped Jovon Robinson, who rushed for a career-high 91 yards on 18 carries.
"Jovon is a guy who gave us a shot in the arm, I think everybody saw that he did some good things, so he'll have a bigger role, but, at the same time, we'll see once we get into practice how everybody's doing."
• Jonathan Wallace continued to play receiver last week, but he's the emergency backup at quarterback.
"We'll continue to keep giving Jonathan Wallace reps at quarterback if he's needed. He'll also split time at wide receiver, too. But just moving forward, that's what we’re thinking."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine