TideSports College Football Preview

Every year since Gus Malzahn took the head coaching job at Auburn, he has had a fast-paced offense. This year will be no different.

Auburn brings back both Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. The dynamic running back duo accounted for 2,119 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Pettway was the starter for most of last year, rushing for 1,224 yards (fifth-best in the SEC) while missing four games. Johnson finished with 895 rushing yards, which ranked 13th in the SEC.

“Kerryon is one of our most versatile players,” Malzahn said at SEC Media Days. “Kerryon is an excellent running back in his own right, too. He’s a tough guy; he can catch and can do a lot of things.”

The biggest change for the Tigers this year will be the offensive coordinator. Rhett Lashlee left to coach at UConn. His replacement: Chip Lindsey.

“I’m excited about Chip,” Malzahn said. “I got a lot of confidence in Chip. He’s going to provide more balance for us. And he’s a quarterback guru, too. So I feel very good about that.”

For the last two years, quarterback play has hurt the Tigers. Sean White was the best quarterback last year, throwing for 1,679 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games. John Franklin III transitioned to wide receiver, then transferred before this season to Florida Atlantic.

The quarterback who is drawing the most excitement is Jarrett Stidham, a transfer from Baylor. While there, he threw for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“The biggest comfort right now is we have quality depth at the quarterback position,” Malzahn said.

2017 Schedule
Sept. 2; Georgia Southern
Sept. 9; at Clemson
Sept. 16; Mercer
Sept. 23; at Missouri
Sept. 30; Mississippi State
Oct. 7; Ole Miss
Oct. 14; at LSU
Oct. 21; at Arkansas
Nov. 4; at Texas A&M
Nov. 11; Georgia
Nov. 18; Louisiana-Monroe
Nov. 25; Alabama

2016 record: 8-5 (5-3 Conf./ tied for 2nd in SEC West)
All-time SEC Championships: 8
All-time bowl appearances: 41 (23-16-2)

2016 Results
Sept. 3; Clemson; L, 13-19
Sept. 10; Arkansas State; W, 51-14
Sept. 17; Texas A&M; L, 16-29
Sept. 24; LSU; W, 18-13
Oct. 1; La.-Monroe; W, 58-7
Oct. 8; at Mississippi State; W, 38-14
Oct. 22; Arkansas; W, 56-3
Oct. 29; Ole Miss; W, 40-29
Nov. 5; Vanderbilt; W, 23-16
Nov. 12; at Georgia; L, 7-13
Nov. 19; Alabama A&M; W, 55-0
Nov. 26; at Alabama; L,12-30
Jan. 2; Oklahoma; L,19-35*
* Sugar Bowl

Starters returning: 17
Offense: 7 Defense: 6
Specialty: 4

Starters lost: 13
Defense: 6
Specialty: 0