After just 3 weeks, Auburn is making a move to switch starting quarterbacks, with head coach Gus Malzahn announcing that redshirt freshman Sean White will be getting the start this week over junior quarterback Jeremy Johnson for the teams upcoming game against Mississippi State.
“I feel like that’s best for our offense right now,” Malzahn said. “Sean White is a guy that has got a lot of reps. He’s responded very well in practice, very well in scrimmages, and I just feel like he needs a shot right now. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him right now.”
The decision to switch quarterbacks is coming on the heels of the Auburn Tigers 45-21 loss to LSU, and Johnson was unable to provide any kind of offensive boost to his team as the LSU Tigers rolled to an easy victory over their SEC West rival. Johnson coWillmpleted just 11 of 19 passes for 100 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Through the first 3 weeks of the college season, Johnson has thrown 6 interceptions and lost a fumble.
While Auburn is till 2 and 1, their first two victories of the season were narrow 1 touchdown games over Louisville in week 1, and Jacksonville State in week 2. The week performances by Auburn in those games, and the one against LSU, is the motivation behind the change at quarterback.
Johnson won the starting job over Sean White coming out of spring practices, and he had very high hopes placed on him for the season, having spent the last 2 years backing up Nick Marshall.
“Jeremy’s a competitor,” Malzahn said. “He’s a competitor, but he’s a team guy, too. He’ll support Sean. He’ll get reps still in practice. And he’ll be ready if he’s called upon.”
The change was certainly unexpected coming into the season, but Auburn hopes that it may get its season back on track against Mississippi State, and the quarterback change may drive that.
“It is a little surprising,” Malzahn said of the change. “But at the same time, from a coach’s standpoint, you’ve got to each week do what you feel like is best for your team and for your offense. That’s where we’re at. I’m looking forward to seeing Sean. He’s a guy that can flat-out throw it. He can run it, too. He’s got that little air of confidence that quarterbacks have.”