AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football hasn’t gotten much from Kamryn Pettway, who last season led the SEC in rushing yards per game, since a Week 3 win over Mercer.
On Thursday night, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said the junior running back should be more involved in the offense against Arkansas this weekend.
“I think he’s closer [to 100 percent],” Malzahn said on the Tiger Talk radio show. “He was better this week than he was last week. I expect him to get a few more carries.”
Pettway has missed two of the last four games for Auburn with recurring lower leg injuries. In the two games he played — against Mississippi State and last Saturday against LSU — he carried the ball 9 times for just 13 yards. Pettway also missed the season opener against Georgia Southern due to a suspension.
Pettway dealt with plantar fasciitis in the offseason and picked up an ankle injury in his 34-carry performance against Mercer. He was the only running back to get carries against Clemson and Mercer, running the ball 56 times for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Since then, Pettway has not been a factor for Auburn’s offense. In his place, running back Kerryon Johnson has jumped to the SEC lead in average yards per game with 132, and he also leads all of college football in rushing touchdowns with 13.
Auburn takes on Arkansas this Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network) in Fayetteville. The Tigers will have an off date next week before finishing up with a November stretch of Texas A&M, Georgia, UL-Monroe and Alabama.
“I think probably the biggest issue is he has not been able to be healthy,” Malzahn said. “It is what it is on that. … He’s getting closer. I think the other day he was close to 100 percent. Hopefully after this week, he will be 100 percent.”