Malzahn: No. 8 Auburn's White will start, Pettway could play
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn quarterback Sean White will be back in the starting lineup against Georgia, and coach Gus Malzahn is hoping his star tailback will be able to play, too.
The nation's No. 4 rusher, Kamryn Pettway was expected to practice Tuesday or Wednesday after injuring his left leg on a long run against Vanderbilt, Malzahn said.
''We're not ruling out Pettway yet,'' he said Tuesday. ''I wouldn't be surprised if he plays, but at the same time we've got other guys that will be ready to go. We've got a lot of confidence in those guys.''
Pettway and White have led the eighth-ranked Tigers' resurgence into Southeastern Conference and playoff contenders.
White didn't play until the second half against Vanderbilt with an undisclosed injury. He led the Tigers back from a 13-10 halftime deficit after the offense struggled behind John Franklin III. White completed 10 of 13 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.
Malzahn, who said White didn't practice last week, said the sophomore will start in Saturday's game at Georgia.
''He's not 100 percent or we would have started him last week,'' Malzahn said. ''He went in there and did a solid job. He'll be better this week than he was last week. We'll see how it goes in practice. Last week he didn't take any practice reps. He did warm up on Thursday just to see what he can do but he didn't take any practice reps.''
He said coaches will be ''smart'' about how much White throws during practice.
Pettway has also been an integral part of Auburn's offensive improvement. He is leading the league with 1,106 rushing yards despite not getting a carry in the opener against Clemson and sitting out the Louisiana-Monroe game. Pettway pulled up at the end of a 60-yard run in the fourth quarter, clutching his left leg. His 138.3 yards per game is fourth nationally.
''We have to prepare as if he's going to be there,'' said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who recruited Pettway while an assistant at Alabama. ''If he's there or not, they're going to be able to run the ball, trust me. They did it at the beginning of the year sometimes without him.''
Pettway has been the workhorse with 121 carries in the last four games. He's the first Auburn running back who has rushed for 150-plus yards in four straight games since Bo Jackson during his 1985 Heisman Trophy season.
Kerryon Johnson has run for 616 yards and nine touchdowns but has been nursing an ankle injury that sidelined him against Arkansas.
Malzahn said linebacker Tre' Williams and leading receiver Tony Stevens also return after missing the Vandy game with injuries. Stevens also sat out the Mississippi game.
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