AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s rushing attack is coming off one of its best performances in program history, but it could get even better this weekend.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday that he expects starting running back Kerryon Johnson to play this Saturday against Ole Miss. Malzahn said the team would know more about his injury status following a Tuesday evening practice.
“The good thing is we didn’t have to play him last week,” Malzahn said. “I thought that was very important moving forward, not just this game but the rest of the year At this point, I would expect him to play. I think he’s moving closer to 100 percent each day.”
Johnson dressed but didn’t participate in Auburn’s 56-3 over Arkansas last Saturday. Malzahn said after the win that the sophomore running back “wasn’t 100 percent” after working his way back from an ankle injury he suffered in the first quarter of a Week 6 win at Mississippi State.
Fellow sophomore Kamryn Pettway was named Auburn’s starting running back in Johnson’s absence prior to the win against Arkansas. Pettway rushed 27 times for a career-high 192 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first career start as Auburn put up an SEC record-breaking 543 rushing yards.
Auburn also got career-high rushing performances from receiver-turned-running back Stanton Truitt and true freshman Kam Martin in the victory against Arkansas.
“That’s pretty good because you know the defense can’t just key on one dude. ‘Oh, Kerryon’s here, so we just have to focus on him.’” Auburn wide receiver Tony Stevens said. “We’ve got Pettway, Stanton, Kam — a lot of running backs back there that can just get the rock and go score.
Johnson is now second on Auburn in carries (105) and rushing yards (538) behind Pettway. The two sophomores each have 6 touchdowns this season.