Kerryon Johnson just keeps on scoring.
Following a five touchdown performance at Missouri, Johnson stayed hot Saturday night against Mississippi State, scoring three more touchdowns in a 49-10 win, despite not being full speed.
“The fact that he’s not 100 percent says a lot about him,” Coach Gus Malzahn said. “I was proud of KJ and the job he did, especially on the goal line. There were a couple of tough runs that he found a way and willed himself to get in the end zone.”
Auburn went to Johnson early and often, and never looked back. The offense opened the game with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown as Johnson had a 59-yard run up the middle that set up his first touchdown of the game on fourth and goal from the one-yard line. His second and third touchdowns were both tough, short runs in the red zone, set up by passes of over 50 yards, to Eli Stove and Kyle Davis. For a team that struggled with red zone efficiency last year and even this year against Clemson, Johnson has been an impact player that has proven he can put up six when called upon.
As it usually is with most of Malzahn’s teams, the offense, and the running backs in particular, get better each week and seem to really hit their stride midseason. Johnson seems to have hit his stride and, at least for the time being, stolen the spotlight from the SEC’s leading rusher of last year, Kamryn Pettway. Despite not being 100 percent, Johnson looks to be in great form after a hamstring injury earlier in the year left him sidelined for two weeks.
“I feel good. That definitely puts a smile on my face. Like I said, I missed two weeks and missed the Clemson game, so I am just trying to get back out there and get back on track,” Johnson said.
It’s safe to say the Tiger running back is back on track. The Auburn offense totaled 511 yards, and 244 yards were on the ground. Johnson rushed for multiple touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He tallied 116 yards on 23 carries, and once again, three touchdowns against the Bulldog defense. The Huntsville native now has eight touchdowns in his last two games.
Auburn moved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC with the victory over Mississippi State. The Tigers will host Ole Miss this weekend inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.