Auburn Tigers QB Sean White is an encouraging find in a disappointing season.
AUBURN. Ala., (C+P) — The Auburn Tigers may have dropped their second straight SEC matchup 17-9 at the hands of Mississippi State; however, even the disappointing 2-2 start to the season couldn’t take away from the confidence the team saw and gain in quarterback Sean White in his first collegiate start.
“The moment wasn’t too big for him,” said head coach Gus Malzahn. “He showed some toughness and showed some grit. He really made a very strong impression on his teammates.”
White was the talk of the town after it was announced that preseason Heisman-hopeful Jeremy Johnson would be riding the bench at home against MSU. Everyone and their brother and his high school coach had to put in their two cents about White’s strengths and ability—mainly his NFL-veteran-like composure in the pocket.
Sure, White looked pretty good. It was not the best start to his career, but it should give fans some hope for the future. His teammates are sure sold. It was not his arm that got them to buy in; however, it was a 31-yard scramble in the third quarter when the team learned everything they needed to know about the young QB.
“It meant a lot because as a group we told him we would be behind him,” said receiver Marcus Davis. “To see that I think it was something in return for us and motivated us to keep playing hard.”
Davis was especially shocked by the run. He had never seen anything like it in his three years of playing against White in high school.
“I was kind of surprised because I played that guy like three years in high school, and he always beat us throwing,” continued Davis. “I had never really seen him run, but that guy can really move around and make plays.”
White finished the game 20 of 28 for 188 yards and one interception. Not the best bottom line, but he showed that he wants it enough to warrant Malzahn starting him against this week against San Jose State.
“I think everyone saw him compete,” said Malzahn. “We thought he’d make a mistake or two. He’s a competitor…I thought he did a good job for the first timeout of going through his progressions.”
Earning the coach’s approval is half the battle.
Auburn faces San Jose State Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.