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Playing in hostile environment a ‘fun challenge’ for Auburn QB Sean White

Auburn quarterback Sean White warms up before facing Arkansas St. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium
Auburn quarterback Sean White warms up before facing Arkansas St. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Some of the most memorable moments from Sean White’s freshman year came away from the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium.

White led Auburn to a 30-27 road win over Kentucky in just his third career start.

Two weeks later White ocherstrated a game-tying drive at the end of regulation against Arkansas.

Auburn was a dropped pass away from completing what would have been a memorable comeback in a four overtime marathon against its SEC West rival.

White’s competitive drive has him eager to get back on the road this weekend for his first trip to Starkville.

“Playing on the road is, I wouldn’t say fun, but I like the challenge of playing on the road,” White said Tuesday. “You go into another team’s environment, it’s a hostile environment—every environment is in the SEC—and it’s a challenge to go in there and play good, play well and steal a win in another team’s territory, and that’s a fun challenge for me.”

The second-year starter is 78 of 114 for 983 yards with five touchdowns to one interception this season. White has the third best pass efficiency rating (153.6) in the SEC through five games this season.

The sophomore is coming off one of his best games of the season going 14 of 17 for 239 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing) against ULM.

White acknowledges much of the team’s offense this season has come at the expense of teams outside the SEC. The key for the group this weekend is proving they can put up points against teams outside of the Sun Belt Conference.

“The challenge in itself is to find that consistency,” White said. “We have to do that every week. You can’t one week put up a bunch of points and then the next week you don’t finish drives in the red zone, or whatever the case may be. We need to bring it every week, where we have a successful game and put our team in a position to win.”

Auburn coaches have spent much of the past two weeks trying to fix a broken red zone offense that went into the game against ULM the second worst in the country.

While Auburn likes to run the ball near the goal line, Malzahn stressed the importance of showing opposing defenses they can and will throw the ball in the red zone.

“I think that’s where it’s got to start, but at the same time, you’ve got to be efficient enough, especially when they know you are throwing the football,” Malzahn said. “That’s when it really gets challenging. It’s third down and goal from the six to the 10, there’s a good chance you’re going to throw the football. That’s really a big emphasis on what we’re doing moving forward.”

White sees the young offense continuing to improve as the freshmen and sophomore filling out key roles at the skill positions gain valuable experience.

“All the guys who are young are contributing and are really hard workers,” White said. “Nobody is complacent. No freshman is like, 'Man, I'm making plays and I don't need to come to practice or whatever.' Everyone is coming to work and everyone is playing with a chip on his shoulder. That's the best thing to see.”

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