Sean White above rolls out looking for a receiver.
Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers fell to a 4-4 record on the season Saturday after losing to the Ole Miss Rebels 27-19. However, the loss did not come without a major effort, especially from redshirt freshman Sean White.
Listed as questionable on whether or not he would play, White gritted his teeth and fought through playing with an injured knee that caused him to miss two days of practice. White toughed it out and finished the game 12-28 passing with 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
“(My knee) got banged up in the Arkansas game in the fourth quarter,” White said. “It just swelled up a lot afterwards so I’ve been rehabbing it all week. (During the game) I couldn’t move around sometimes as much as I wanted to, but I was still able to play and I feel fine.”
White noted that he was not “100 percent,” but wanted to try to help Auburn get the victory.
“It’s frustrating that we came up short,” said White. “I told (Head Coach Gus Malzahn) that I’m ready to go. He said, ‘We’ll see how you do in pregame.’ He thought I looked good and I could move around so he let me start.”
Malzahn had praise for White’s toughness. “He practiced just a little bit on Tuesday and his knee swelled up,” the coach said. “He didn’t practice any of the rest of the week. We didn’t know if he was going to be good to go until pregame, but he is a champion. He’s not 100 percent, but he stayed in there and fought. He is a tough kid.”
Heart and determination were not the only things Auburn left on the field against the Rebels. The Tiger offense made three trips to the red zone and came away with only nine points on three field goals by sophomore kicker Daniel Carlson. The only touchdown came on a 47-yard strike to receiver Ricardo Louis from White.
“It’s frustrating,” White said of Auburn’s inefficiency in the red zone. “We’ve got to take the next step. We’ve got to start scoring. Today we didn’t score enough in the red zone. That was obvious. We kicked too many field goals. That’s probably a big part of us losing so we’ve got to go back and fix it.”
White gave credit to the now 7-2 Ole Miss Rebels for being a “great team,” but noted that the Tigers failed to make the most of their opportunities to win the game.
“We felt like if we played how we should have we could have won the game,” he said. “We know that.”
White said he believes this team can use the knowledge off how close it has been to winning in a positive manner in the upcoming games.
“It’s a good thing going forward,” White remarked. “We feel like we can beat anybody if we play well. The thing is that we need to play well. We are in all of these games. You just need a few plays here or there that are the difference. We just need to make those plays, like in the red zone, make those plays when they are there. That could be the difference in the (next) game.”
Auburn will look to end its two game losing skid when it takes on the 6-2 Texas A&M Aggies in College Station at the newly-renovated Kyle Field. The game will be televised at 6:30 p.m. CST on the SEC Network.