Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said he’s comfortable with quarterback Sean White running the offense’s whole playbook.
White’s playbook looked awfully small Saturday.
The quarterback only threw the ball 10 times, only twice following halftime, in a 35-21 win over San Jose State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. His primary function was turning to the left or right depending on where Peyton Barber lined up in the backfield.
Malzahn disputed the notion that White’s pedestrian numbers were a product of his inexperience.
“We just didn’t need it today,” Malzahn said, of the passing game. “We ran the football, and we had short fields. If we had to throw the football, I feel as good as you can about a guy who is in second start.”
Auburn’s running backs carried the ball 48 times in the win with Barber finding the end zone five times.
White didn’t have any issues with the way the game was called.
“I thought I did well when my number was called and we ended up winning the game,” White said. “I was happy. I thought Peyton (Barber) played a really good game on the offensive line. They did a great job and I’m just happy we got a win today.”
Malzahn focused on plays the Florida native did make instead of those he didn’t, pointing to White’s 31-yard completion to Ricardo Louis at the end of the half.
On a third-and-nine, White threw a jump ball to Louis down the Tigers’ sideline. San Jose State safety Vincente Miles blitzed on the play, and knocked White down. Louis made a spectacular catch despite strong coverage from defensive back Jimmy Pruitt.
“We worked on that play in practice, and we knew that was going to be a great play,” Louis said. “Sean delivered a great ball, and I went and made a play on the ball.”
Malzahn said the play which set up a 5-yard touchdown run from Barber with 38 seconds to go in the first half gave Auburn “breathing room.”
“I thought that was a huge play,” Malzahn said.
White now has almost two full weeks to prepare for Auburn’s next opponent Kentucky.
The SEC game will be in Lexington on Oct. 15 following the Tigers’ bye week, but Malzahn isn’t ready to name the quarterback for the game just yet.
“He competed and did some good things,” Malzahn said. “We will keep taking this thing week-to-week like we have been doing it. We are starting to get good answers to the questions that we needed. There are a bunch of new guys out there, a bunch of young guys in certain situations, so we have a better idea moving forward.”