Starkville, Miss.--In his first two seasons as a member of the Auburn football team, Kamryn Pettway had exactly zero carries in game situations. On Saturday in Starkville, the redshirt sophomore carried the ball 39 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-17 SEC football victory over Mississippi State.
Asked if at this time last year he could have ever dreamed he would be carrying the football so many times in a game, the redshirt sophomore said that “no,” he wouldn’t have suspected it could happen.
“It is pretty fun--I love it,” said Pettway, a former star tailback at Prattville High, who was converted to a fullback at Auburn before moving back to tailback this spring.
A post-game sentiment from a variety of Auburn players is that their team is improving after winning three consecutive games to improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
“I think we have a lot of confidence after a couple of weeks ago getting a big win and beating LSU, I believe it gave us a lot of confidence coming into this game,” Pettway said.”
Pettway, who also caught a pass for nine yards, was asked if he is a “beast” as a football player as some of his teammates like to call the 240-pound runner. “I seem to be,” he said with a smile, adding, “but I am not cocky though.”
Pettway’s big day was set up by a first quarter injury to tailback Kerryon Johnson, the team’s leading rusher coming into the game. Johnson injured his ankle after three carries for 21 yards. Pettway missed last week’s game with a quad muscle injury.
“I think Kerryon and me are a good combination,” Pettway said. “When one of us slows down the other one just has to pick up the slack.”
Asked if he could have kept running the ball if needed on Saturday, Pettway said, “I think I get stronger as I carry the ball more and get a feel for the game.”
In other news and notes:
*The 35 points were the most for the Tigers in the first half since scoring 38 vs. San Jose State last season.
Auburn’s 335 yards total offense are the most in the first half since gaining 383 vs. Alabama in 2014.
*Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson, Alex Kozan and Marcus Davis continued their role as game captains.
*Jalen Harris opened the game at tight end, the first collegiate start for the sophomore.
*Auburn’s longest play of the day was a 42-yard pass to freshman running back Kam Martin. He added two carries for eight yards.
*Wide receiver/running back Stanton Truitt ran the ball four times for 32 yards.
*Montravius Adams became the first AU player to score on a fumble return since Justin Garrett did it in the 2015 opener vs. Louisville.
*Adams recovered two fumbles The last player to do that in the same game was Eltoro Freeman with two vs. Georgia in 2011.
*Prior to punting in the second quarter the Tigers had 17 consecutive possessions without a punt.