Kerryon Johnson saw extended playing time vs. LSU on Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Baton Rouge, La.--There weren’t a lot of bright spots for the Auburn football team while it was being dominated in a 45-21 SEC loss at LSU, but the play of a true freshman certainly was one.
Kerryon Johnson came off the bench and ran the football four times for 14 yards, caught three passes for 17 yards and returned three kickoffs for 90 yards.
That was a solid day for Alabama’s 2014 Mr. Football, who missed a good portion of preseason practice with an injury.
“I wasn’t sure how much I would be playing this week, but I practiced a lot and I was feeling good,” the former Madison Academy star said. “Playing that much, I wasn’t sure that would happen. I just was hoping to get some opportunities and show what I could do.
“It was a big relief being out there knowing I?have still got it,” said Johnson. “I made the most of my opportunities so that is why I got some more.”
The freshman returned a kickoff 40 yards and came close to taking it the distance. “They have got a lot of athletes and that showed,” he said of LSU. “Maybe against another team I could have gone the whole way. If you get by two tackles you still have another one to go.”
Despite the humbling setback, Johnson said he doesn’t see any reason to get overly discouraged. “We are still 2-1. We just have to come out and work hard every week and see how it plays out at the end.”
Asked if he felt back to full speed from his pulled muscle in a leg, Johnson gave a resounding yes. “I?felt great running the ball and catching it,” he said.
In other news and notes:
*With Carl Lawson not making the trip due to a hip injury, Jonathan Wallace was Auburn’s lone team captain. Coach Gus Malzahn didn’t give a time frame for Lawson’s return, but the defensive lineman’s roommate, running back Peyton Barber, said he expects Lawson back in action very soon.
*A crowd of 102,321 watched the action on a warm day, the 18th consecutive regular season sellout to watch Auburn play. Temperature at kickoff was 91 degrees.
*Defensive tackle Maurice Swain and Cameron Toney made their first Auburn starts. Toney was filling in for senior linebacker Justin Garrett, who warmed up with the team, but was bothered by a pulled quad muscle he injured in game two.
*LSU’s 411 rushing yards was the most for that team vs. a conference opponent since gaining 426 vs. Ole Miss in 1976 and the only 400-yard rushing performance vs. an SEC team since gaining 400 vs. Kentucky in 1997.