AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football might be without a starter in sophomore left guard Mike Horton in Death Valley.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn wouldn’t say Thursday night on his weekly Tiger Talk radio show appearance if Horton would return from injury against LSU (3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT Saturday on CBS). Horton aggravated a previous ankle injury in the third quarter of Auburn’s 44-23 win over Ole Miss last week.
“He had a pretty good injury Saturday,” Malzahn said Thursday. “We’ll see how that goes with that. He’s rehabbing hard, and he’s played at a high level up to this point.”
Horton started each of Auburn’s first six games of the season at left guard. He and senior right guard Braden Smith were the only constants on the offensive line — one that has included an injury to senior right tackle Darius James.
Malzahn didn’t say Thursday night if Horton practiced this week.
If Horton cannot play Saturday against LSU, Auburn will most likely start senior Austin Golson at left guard, which would be his third different starting spot this season. Golson has started at left guard in each of the last three games, with graduate transfer senior Casey Dunn filling in at center.
Sophomore Prince Tega Wanogho, who was benched when James returned to the starting lineup from injury against Mississippi State, would return to left tackle.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Prince Tega, and then Austin Golson has the ability,” Malzahn said earlier this week. “I think he’s played his fifth position last week in six games. It tells you a lot about him, his versatility, which there’s very few players around the country I feel like could do that.”
Auburn won’t be alone in its starting offensive line issues Saturday. On Thursday night, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said his team would likely start three freshmen on the offensive line against Auburn.