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Auburn’s starting quarterback for Iron Bowl to be determined

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson celebrates a touchdown against Idaho Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. (Michael Niziolek | Ledger-Enquirer.com)
Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson celebrates a touchdown against Idaho Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. (Michael Niziolek | Ledger-Enquirer.com) Michael Niziolek | Ledger-Enquirer.com

Auburn isn’t ready to name a starting quarterback for the Iron Bowl.

With a game plan still in its early stages, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee offered little clarity for the Tigers’ quarterback situation going into their regular season finale against Alabama.

“It’s something Coach (Malzahn) will probably address more on Tuesday,” Lashlee said.

In a 56-34 win over Idaho, Jeremy Johnson started for a third straight game with Jonathan Wallace as the team’s backup.

Redshirt freshman Sean White dressed Saturday, but didn’t participate in 7-on-7 drills before the game similar to when he was held out of the lineup against Texas A&M.

White is still recovering from a left knee injury he suffered against Arkansas and is still wearing a brace around the knee.

The coaching staff hinted that White suffered a second injury during practice in recent weeks, but has declined to reveal what his condition exactly is.

Lashlee said White is “getting healthier” and could see a scenario where both of Auburn’s quarterbacks take snaps against Alabama.

“We know we're going to probably need both of those guys,” Lashlee said.

The uncertainty at the position is at odds with the confidence Lashlee expressed in Johnson Sunday night coming off the junior’s performance against Idaho. 

Johnson’s “calm confidence” impressed Lashlee as the quarterback put up a season-high four touchdowns. In three quarters, Johnson was 13 of 19 fro 163 yards with touchdown passes to Ricardo Louis and Tony Stevens.  

“I don't think he made one bad decision the whole game, so that says a lot about where he's come and they gave us a bunch of different looks,” Lashlee said. “They were doing a bunch of different things and blitzing different ways to try to stop things and he made some good decisions — whether it be the run or the pass game — every time.”

In his postgame press conference, Johnson was also pleased with the strides he’s taken in recent weeks to be more effective in the passing game.

“I feel like I made some plays, made some throws that I’ve missed,” Johnson said.

While Johnson didn’t want to discuss who get the start against the Alabama, he admitted he would “cherish” the opportunity to face Auburn’s rival in one of the biggest games in the world.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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