AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said sophomore quarterback Sean White was “less than 100 percent” in a 13-7 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
White couldn’t put an exact percentage on how healthy his shoulder was against the Bulldogs, but he knew that the number went down during the game.
“I kind of hurt myself a little bit more during the game,” White said Sunday night. “I think I could have done a better job letting the coaches know … wanted to play with my team, and I wanted to try to win.”
White completed 6 of his 20 passing attempts against Georgia for 27 yards. The Tigers struggled moving the ball as White played through his injury. They did not get a single first down after halftime.
The sophomore quarterback started 4 for 7 through the air, but he aggravated his injury on a hit from a blitzing Georgia defender early in the game.
“I think I could have done a little bit better job as far as just letting them know how bad it was really hurting me,” White said. “You know, I don’t think they really knew. … That’s on me, and I have to do a better job of just being honest. Because maybe the best chance to win might be somebody else if I’m not healthy enough.”
But Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said there never was any talk of replacing White at quarterback during the loss Saturday night.
“We were ahead 7-0 for a good part of it, and a one-score game throughout, there was no indication that he was limited to the point where he couldn’t give us the best chance to win,” Lashlee said Sunday night.
White played through the injury to his throwing shoulder, which he originally hurt in an Oct. 29 road win over Ole Miss. He didn’t play in the first half of the Vanderbilt game but came off the bench after halftime to lead Auburn to a comeback win over the Commodores.
“We felt like if we could rest him until game time — he gives us the best chance to win, give him the best chance to be healthy,” Lashlee said. “Again, I think he deserves a lot of credit for how hard he fought and how gutsy he played (against Georgia).”
White confirmed Sunday night he hadn’t thrown any passes in practice over the last two weeks as he tries to rehab his injury.
“I’ve been out at practice every day,” White said. “I’ve been out there getting mental reps, but I haven’t thrown at all in two weeks. So I mean that’s basically how it’s gone. I haven’t been able to get the timing down and get the full reps, but I have been out there and I’ve gotten all the mental reps and all that.”
Auburn will try to rebound from its worst offensive performance since 2012 against in-state FCS program Alabama A&M.
While it may make sense for White to sit Saturday ahead of the Iron Bowl, he wants to continue to play through his health issue.
“I want to play every chance I get,” White said. “I want to play at Jordan-Hare and with my teammates and play for Auburn. So I’m going to want to play as much as I can. But yes, the Iron Bowl is a week away and I want to be as healthy as I can for that, too. I think it’s just going to be up to the trainers and the coaches and how I feel and everything that goes with that.”