War Eagle Extra

Sugar Bowl practice report: White, Pettway healthy; McGriff not letting up

Auburn quarterback Sean White practices Thursday at Tulane Yulman Stadium for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Auburn quarterback Sean White practices Thursday at Tulane Yulman Stadium for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Auburn didn’t reveal any at of its Sugar Bowl game plan during a 15-minute viewing window for the media Thursday at Tulane Yulman Stadium.

The Tigers spent much of the time working on special teams drills with reporters on site.

The main takeaway from the brief session — the first time Auburn has allowed reporters to view any portion of practice since early August — was a glimpse of a healthy Sean White and Kamryn Pettway.

White went through a throwing session in the back of the end zone with his fellow quarterbacks and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. The sophomore was limited in practice for much of the final month of the regular season with an injured throwing shoulder.

Coach Gus Malzahn has consistently labeled White 100 percent since the team regrouped for bowl practice in mid-December. There was no visible evidence on Thursday to contradict Malzahn’s recent injury report.

Pettway spent the special teams portion of the viewing period on the sidelines chatting with defensive back Markell Boston and linebacker Tre’ Williams.

The team’s leading rusher, who battled a quad injury during the final month of the season, jogged onto the field for a pace drill against the scout team just before the viewing window closed.

White handed off to Pettway on all three offensive snaps reporters were allowed to see. Pettway didn’t appear limited, making small cuts to hit the hole, but the coaches were quick with the whistle preventing anyone from getting a look at the back getting to full speed.

Quick hits

▪ Secondary coach Wes McGriff is as engaged as he was in the spring and fall. Ole Miss’ new defensive coordinator was his typical high-energy self, running down the sidelines clapping during special teams works.

McGriff gave pointers one-on-one to multiple players, including linebacker Deshaun Davis and defensive back T.J. Davis during the short window reporters were allowed to see.

The players are taking advantage of their final days with the coach, who they are hoping to send out with a win.

“We want to end things off right for him especially in the secondary,” Auburn defensive back Tray Matthews said. “It’s been emotional. It’s been a long ride. We love him, and we’re going to miss him. We definitely want to win this one for him.”

▪ There were a lot of No. 6’s on the field Thursday for Auburn.

While Jeremy Johnson typically wears the number, freshman quarterback Woody Barrett, Devin Adams and Tyler Queen all wore the number.

The trio of quarterbacks worked with the scout team as a stand-in for Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

“All three of those guys bring something different to the table,” Deshaun Davis said. “Some can run, some can throw, some can do both. I feel like they give us a pretty good look at what we’re going to see. But like I said, he’s a special breed. He’s a wonder quarterback. When he’s on the field, you know he’s on the field.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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