Auburn, Ala.-- Kameron Martin and the Auburn Tigers ran past the Alabama A&M Bulldogs on the way to a 55-0 shutout on Saturday night. Formerly the SEC’s leading rushing unit, Auburn got back into its groove with 451 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns while averaging 7.6 yards per carry.
Sophomore Kerryon Johnson got the nod as the starter with an ailing Kamryn Pettway still sidelined and the sophomore put together a solid first half carrying the football 18 times for 108 yards and a touchdown.
However, it was true freshman Martin who stole the show in the second half and ended up leading the offense with 21 rushes for 176 yards and two TDs when the game was finished.
“It’s just a blessing, man,” said Martin after his collegiate-best night. “I want to give credit to my offensive linemen and all of my teammates. It felt great. When an opportunity comes you’ve got to make something happen. It’s just a blessing to have fun out here and get a great win.”
Martin originally signed with Baylor in February, but after former Baylor head coach Art Briles was fired in May the Port Arthur, Tex., native was released from his scholarship and chose to sign with the Tigers.
“It was kind of up and down,” Martin expressed after being asked about his journey from signing with Baylor to landing on the Plains, “but I got through it. It’s just a blessing to be here at Auburn. This is a great university and I’m surrounded by great teammates. I’m just glad to be here.”
With a lack of healthy bodies at the running back position the Tigers turned to senior defensive back Rudy Ford to provide a few touches at the spot. Ford accounted for two rushes for six yards and one catch for 25 yards while totaling three tackles on defense.
“It (can) be a little complicated,” Ford added about being used on both sides of the ball. “I just really like to dial in on what they’ve got me doing and just focus on that and execute those plays. It just shows my versatility and allows the coaches to use me in different areas that the team needs.”
The ground attack got some extra help from the quarterback position as well. Starter Jeremy Johnson, filling in for the injured Sean White, went for 42 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, and in the second half John Franklin got a touchdown and 84 yards on four rushes.
While Martin and the rest of his teammates emphasized that they would rest after Saturday’s dominant victory, the Tigers know that they have their toughest challenge coming up next Saturday when they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (2:30 p.m., CBS). Alabama leads the nation in fewest rushing yards allowed per contest at 68.8.
“We’re just going to enjoy this one tonight,” Martin said. (We’ll) focus on Alabama tomorrow.”