Kerryon Johnson is ready as Auburn's Wildcat quarterback
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Kerryon Johnson was looking for a place to run. That's when he remembered the roadmap to success.
Be patient, then go.
"I saw the end zone, I said, 'I'm going there.'"
Johnson, Auburn's Wildcat quarterback, scored on a 7-yard run in last Saturday's game against Georgia, and he'll be looking for more when the Tigers meet Idaho in Saturday's 3 p.m. game in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn didn't run the Wildcat early in the season, then Gus Malzahn dusted off the playbook and gave Johnson, a running back by trade, those duties. He's now third in rushing and all-purpose yards, and has eight catches, too. He's rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and, with starting quarterback Jeremy Johnson showing a willingness to run last week as well, the Tigers could be giving opposing defenses something else to consider.
It's all something new for Kerryon Johnson, the true freshman.
"It's been an experience for sure," Johnson said. "It's definitely weird going from a high school running back and Wildcat, and now you're on a grand scale. You have to communicate things to the line and make sure everybody is running the right play. I've enjoyed it. It's a way to get on the field, and it's not a thing a lot of people can do."
Johnson's touchdown run was a bit different.
"Coach Malzahn has talked about this package expanding, and that people are going to have to get comfortable in it. That play was the definition of that," Johnson said. "He's been preaching being patient all year." Johnson waited for the play develop. Touchdown. "That's just coaching," Johnson said.
Jeremy Johnson was credited with seven rushes against Georgia. One was a sack for minus 4 yards. Another was a 7-yard loss. Johnson's five other runs were for a positive 42 yards.
"He's always on that capability," Kerryon Johnson said. "At his size, and the way he ran the ball, he showed great ball security. He took a couple of hits and it didn't faze him. Now, defenses are going to have to account for him, and that gives us another option that’s if a pass play breaks down, you've got a running quarterback. That's 5 easy years. It just gives you more options on the field."
Now, it's Idaho, and then Alabama, then, Auburn hopes, a bowl game. That gives the Tigers plenty of time to make a statement, Kerryon Johnson said, especially after four SEC losses of eight or fewer points.
"This game, or the next games, it all has to come out. All that frustration we just have to turn into energy. We've come too close too many times."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine