Kerryon Johnson made just about every yard count.
The junior running back returned from an injury to score a career-high five touchdowns to lead No. 15 Auburn to a 51-14 win at Missouri.
“I was very proud of Kerryon Johnson,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He wasn’t 100 percent but he did a super job, and our offensive line did a great job.”
Jay G. Tate/AuburnSports.com
Johnson finished with 48 yards on 18 carries after missing the previous two games with a hamstring injury. He scored on runs of one, two, one and seven yards as Auburn built a 28-0 lead in the first half. He added another 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter before turning it over to the backups.
“It definitely felt good. I missed playing with these guys,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot more fun when you’re out there grinding and sweating with them.”
Kam Martin, who didn’t receive a carry in the last two games after running for 136 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Georgia Southern, led Auburn with 74 yards on nine carries including a 47-yard run.
Malik Miller helped close out the game with 40 yards on nine carries.
Kamryn Pettway, who had all 56 of Auburn’s running back carries the previous two weeks, was held out of the game with an undisclosed injury.
“We’ve been banged up. It’s almost a repeat of last year where we kind of had to makeshift some things. Pettway was not able to play tonight,” running backs coach Tim Horton said.
“KJ was back and did some good things, but the other thing we learned is Malik Miller and Kam Martin and Devan Barrett can step in there and do an admirable job. That’s going to help us a lot in the long run.”
AU finished with 263 rushing yards on 53 carries, an average of 5.0 yards per carry.
Auburn, which improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC, hosts No. 17 Mississippi State next Saturday at 5 p.m. CT on ESPN.