Kerryon Johnson is gone, but Auburn has a new group of running backs ready to try to help fill that void.

And entering Saturday’s season opener, Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham appears confident that they’ll be able to do that. While speaking to the media on Tuesday, Stidham praised the running backs on this year’s team, adding that he’s excited to see them in action.

“I’m pretty anxious to see how the group will do, obviously with Kerryon leaving them, you just never know, because they haven’t stepped on the field that much,” Stidham said. “But Kam Martin has obviously played quite a bit and done really well, so I knew Kam would be fine. Some of those younger guys, I was really looking forward to seeing how [Jatarvious] Whitlow would play and Asa [Martin], and now that Shaun [Shivers] is here. I’m really seeing how that group collectively plays and that kind of thing.

“I’ve been really pleased with how they’ve handled fall camp and most of them, this is their first fall camp, they don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into quite yet. But I’ve tried to prep them as much as I can and I think they’re going to be ready to roll.”

Johnson rushed for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, so there certainly is a big role to fill this year. Of the group of running backs on the roster, Kam Martin is the most experienced, as he rushed for 453 yards and two touchdowns last year.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is confident that somebody will step up in Johnson’s absence and the Tigers’ streak of having a 1,000-yard rusher will continue.

“We’ve had one nine years in a row. I like our chances,” Malzahn told the media on Tuesday.

Auburn opens the season against Washington at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

For more of Stidham’s comments from Tuesday, watch the below video courtesy of Duane Rankin of the Montgomery Advertiser: