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Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway demoralizes Arkansas with career night

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway runs drills before facing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway runs drills before facing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway’s final carry in a 56-3 win over Arkansas Saturday night was a 23-yard run around his right tackle to the end zone.

Pettway did a quick little stutter step at the line of scrimmage before bouncing the run outside. The carry earned an approving nod from the standard-bearer of Tigers’ running backs Bo Jackson.

The former Heisman winner spent the entire game cheering for his former team on the sidelines.

Pettway’s touchdown put the Tigers up 42-3 with 42 seconds to go in the third quarter. With a full 15 minutes left to play, Pettway was all set to add to his new career-high.

“I did want more, but I didn’t want to be selfish,” Pettway said with a laugh.

Pettway started for a second straight game in place of an injured Kerryon Johnson (right ankle). Johnson suited up Saturday, but the coaches didn’t like what they saw during warm-ups.

The decision left Pettway at the top of the depth chart where he seems increasingly comfortable.

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“It felt good the offense can depend on me when another person is down or when it’s time to carry the load,” Pettway said. “It’s a great feeling.”

Pettway’s production gave Auburn an early edge while his style helped demoralize Arkansas’ defense.

“He runs people over,” Auburn offensive lineman Alex Kozan said. “He gets us motivated as offensive linemen even more than we normally are. You want to block for a guy like that.”

Kozan likes to describe Pettway as a “physical beast.” The running back showed why he deserves the moniker with a pair of runs on Auburn’s second possession.

Pettway stood up linebacker Brooks Ellis on a third-and-one in the red zone. Ellis tried to shove Pettway backwards, but Pettway pushed through the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder for an extra three yards and the first down.

The Prattville alum went straight up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown run on the next play trampling over defensive back Josh Liddell in the process.

“Hell yeah,” Kozan said of his reaction to Pettway’s gains. “Lets get after it.”

Pettway continued getting after it for two more quarters blowing past a career-high he set the previous game against Mississippi State (169 yards) with 192 yards on 7.1 yards per carry.

The sophomore credited Kozan and the rest of Auburn’s offensive line for making his second straight career effort look easy.

“Our offensive line was dominant at the point of attack,” Pettway said. “I had a lot great gaps to run through.”