Auburn’s 56-3 win over Arkansas Saturday night was almost another bye week for quarterback Sean White.
The Tigers didn’t have much use for White’s throwing arm as offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee called 57 run plays.
Lashlee had good reason to stick to the ground game with the offense averaging more than 9.5 yards per carry for 543 yards.
White threw a 45-yard touchdown to Stanton Truitt, but attempted a season-low 11 passes. It was the second fewest attempts for the sophomore in 13 career starts.
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“I’ve never done it (threw the ball that little) in a game where we run it that dominantly,” White said. “It didn’t really matter to me. The way we were running it tonight that’s a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun out there.”
White has maintained the same attitude even though his opportunities in the passing game have plummeted from an average of 24 attempts through the first four games to 15 over the last three.
The only starter in the SEC attempting fewer passes per game is South Carolina’s Brandon McIlwain, who was benched last week.
White isn’t spending much time worrying about the numbers when Auburn’s offense has outscored its last three opponents 157-24.
“It seemed like every play we called worked,” White said of Saturday night. “That’s thanks to the o-line, the running backs and receivers. Everybody was contributing.”
White’s early contribution came on the ground as well. The quarterback broke a career-long 41-yard run after faking a handoff to Kamryn Pettway. Arkansas defense collapsed on the running back leaving the left side of the line open for White.
It’s the kind of play Auburn coach Gus Malzahn sees more of in White’s future.
“Anytime you have Kamryn Pettway running the ball successfully downhill, they all focus on him,” Malzahn said. “It just takes that one time to sneak out; nobody really knew he had the ball. He split them there. He’s faster than people think he is. He showed some speed.”
White might have scored a touchdown on the play if he hadn’t tripped himself up.
“That was my first time I really remember breaking it and having a chance to score a long one,” White said. “I was just excited and got ahead of myself. Next time I’ll do better than that or at least make it look more graceful.”
The bottom line for White is the final score not how Auburn goes about getting there.
“It (winning 56-3) definitely gets people attention whether they were watching or just checking on their phone — Auburn is doing something,” White said. “We just have to keep it rolling.”