The Auburn Tigers’ lethal rushing attack has been carried by running back Kerryon Johnson, but he was injured during Saturday’s road game versus the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Johnson suffered an apparent right leg injury during the first quarter. He carried the ball three times to the tune of 21 yards before going down, in which trainers helped him off the field to tape up his right foot. Johnson remained on the sideline and was able to walk on both of his feet.
The Tigers’ leading rusher through the first five weeks of the season, Johnson entered Saturday’s SEC clash with 517 yards on 103 carries, as well as six scores. It is a huge blow to the running game, given fellow tailback Malik Miller suffered an injury during Auburn’s Week 5 trouncing over the UL Monroe Warhawks. Without Miller and Johnson, head coach Guz Malzahn has only a pair of running backs on scholarship – Kamryn Pettway and Kam Martin.
Pettway, a 6-0 sophomore, tacked on two touchdowns in a matter of seven minutes spanning the first and second quarter to give Auburn an early 21-0 lead. It is the Tigers’ first road game of the season after spending the first third of the year playing amid their own confines.
Johnson, a sophomore, has taken on a bigger role in the backfield this season. Through five weeks and change, he has already doubled his rushing statistics from his freshman season, a year in which he rushed for 208 yards and three scores. This season, he has also been utilized in the passing game, as he has caught eight balls for 70 yards.