Gus Malzahn sticks with Sean White as Auburn's starting quarterback

Despite a 17-9 loss to Mississippi State this past weekend, Auburn is sticking with Sean White as its quarterback heading into Saturday's tilt with San Jose State. White replaced former starter Jeremy Johnson the week before.

"I felt like Sean White gave the offense a spark," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "He did some very good things. Sean will start again this week. I really feel like he's earned that. If you take away the red zone struggles right there we had, we felt like we got better on the offensive side of the football."

White, playing in his first ever college game, went 20 of 28 for 188 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards on 11 carries. The interception was a costly one, down at the goal line, but that was his only major mistake of the game.

"You're always curious about how one of your players is going to respond the first time they play college football and the first snap that they take, more importantly when they're a quarterback," Malzahn said. "Pregame, I really watched him close. You could tell the moment wasn't too big for him. He didn't have that bright-eyed look like he was scared or anything like that.

"There are a lot of things we can build upon with him, and we think he'll get nothing but better with experience."

Johnson came onto the field late in the first half when Auburn had the ball down close to the goal line. But after Mississippi State called a timeout, White returned to the game. That was Johnson's only appearance Saturday.

On Tuesday, Malzahn said there still might be some packages for Johnson but reiterated that White was the team's quarterback.

Auburn hosts San Jose State this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.