War Eagle Extra

Auburn is taking wait and see approach with starting quarterback for Iron Bowl

Auburn quarterback Sean White watches his team warmup to play Alabama A&M Saturday, Nov. 20, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn quarterback Sean White watches his team warmup to play Alabama A&M Saturday, Nov. 20, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn’s 55-0 win over Alabama A&M did little to clear up the team’s quarterback situation.

Backup quarterbacks Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III played well in place of injured starter Sean White, but their success came at the expense of an FCS defense that bears no resemblance to the one it will face next week in Tuscaloosa.

“We’ll see where we are at,” coach Gus Malzahn said after the game. “We aren’t ready to make that call yet.”

Malzahn’s first order of business is determining White’s health. The sophomore reaggravated an injury to his throwing shoulder against Georgia. He hasn’t practiced since he suffered the injury three weeks ago against Ole Miss.

“I think at this point being able to efficiently practice more than anything,” Malzahn said of White’s chances. “We’ll see where that’s at. Not ready to predict how he’s going to feel in a day or two.”

Malzahn waited to rule White out going into Saturday’s game against Alabama until the end of the week. The coach might follow a similar timeline for announcing a starter for the Iron Bowl.

“We will see where we are at either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday to determine whether Sean or whoever will start,” Malzahn said.

The whoever could be either of Auburn’s backups.

While Malzahn was quick to praise both Johnson and Franklin, he declined to offer a hint into this thinking. Malzahn was asked if he started Johnson as preparation for the Iron Bowl, but the coach talked around the question.

“It was senior nigh and he was prepared,” Malzahn said. “He was ready to play and he played well. He hadn’t played a lot this year, and I think it was good for him to experience that.”

Johnson promised he will be ready if called upon.

“I’m going to be ready,” Johnson said. “There’s no fear in me nor the team. It’s another game, another opportunity to shock the world.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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