Coach Gus Malzahn announced redshirt freshman quarterback Sean White will replace starter Jeremy Johnson for Auburn’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday.
Johnson has struggled over Auburn’s first three games, throwing six interceptions and failing to execute the offense consistently.
“Jeremy is a competitor. But he’s a team guy too,” Malzahn told reporters on Tuesday. “He’ll support Sean, and he’ll get reps still in practice.”
Johnson came into the season with tremendous hype after waiting two years to get a chance to be the full-time starter, but it has not gone according to plan. Auburn’s offense scored just one first-half touchdown in three games.
“Any time you make a change at quarterback it isn’t an easy decision,” Malzahn said. “We feel like that is the best for the offense right now.”
White will have the responsibility of leading Auburn (2-1) after a blowout loss to LSU last Saturday. Malzahn compared the loss to the 2013 season when Auburn also lost in Baton Rouge, but rebounded to make it to the National Championship game.
“In 2013 we went to LSU and got beat pretty good,” Malzahn said. “Our team rolled their sleeves up and our leaders stepped up, and that’s what needs to happen right now.”
White will play in his first career game for Auburn against a Mississippi State team that ranks 26th nationally in scoring defense. He steps into a role where he needs to produce immediately for Auburn to have any chance to win the SEC West.
“We feel like he needs a shot right now and we have a lot of confidence in him,” Malzahn said.
Isaiah 40:31"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles"…. ??time to get to work
— Sean White (@SeanWhiteAU) September 22, 2015