Kam Martin waited three weeks for his opportunity, and the Auburn sophomore running back made the most of it against Missouri.
After failing to record a carry in each of Auburn’s last two games, Martin reemerged as a factor in Auburn’s rushing game during the team’s SEC-opening 51-14 win against Missouri on Saturday night. Martin led all players with 74 rushing yards, doing it on nine carries while complementing Kerryon Johnson at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.
“Kam’s a baller, man,” said Johnson, who rushed for five touchdowns on the night. “Kam’s a guy that’s been patient. He’ll continue to be patient. He’s a selfless guy. He comes to work every day and shoulders the load.”
The nine carries were Martin’s first since carrying the ball 14 times for 136 yards and a touchdown in Auburn’s season-opening win against Georgia Southern. Prior to Saturday’s win, the 5-foot-10, 182-pounder was a nonfactor against Clemson and Mercer as Auburn relied exclusively on Kamryn Pettway out of the backfield during those two games.
Over that stretch, Martin rarely saw the field and recorded just one 5-yard reception, which came in the loss at Clemson on Sept. 9.
Over the last couple of weeks, Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey danced around the subject when asked about Martin’s lack of involvement in the gameplan. Both cited the flow of the game against Clemson and Mercer for the main reason Martin didn’t get any carries, while Lindsey said in the Clemson game that Auburn wanted to go with a more sizable back against a bigger defense.
“We have confidence in Kam Martin,” Malzahn said Saturday. “I just think last week, we stuck with Pettway.”
Saturday saw a different approach, as Auburn relied on a stable of running backs with Pettway dressed out but sidelined with a left ankle injury against Missouri. While Johnson stole the show with his five-touchdown performance — which tied for the most…