After missing Auburn's 59-14 win against UMass to open the season last week, star running back Jarquez Hunter is expected to play against Cal on Saturday night.

Hunter played second-fiddle to Tank Bigsby, who was drafted in the third round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in April, for the past two seasons but still made an impact.

During his freshman campaign in 2021, Hunter rushed for 593 yards and three touchdowns off of 89 carries. He made 12 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Hunter's sophomore season was even better. He picked up 675 yards and seven touchdowns off of 104 carries and caught 17 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

The Philadelphia, Miss. native is expected to have a break-out season in 2023 as he will be leading the charge on the ground for the first time. Due to off-the-field issues, Hunter's availability has been questionable throughout the summer and the beginning of the season.

Hunter's absence went unnoticed last week, however, as Auburn's running back room showed just how talented they are.

Six different Tigers rushed for more than 30 yards last week, including quarterback Robby Ashford.

Sophomore Sean Jackson led the charge with 64 yards and a touchdown off of five carries. Freshman Jeremiah Cobb shined in his debut by rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown off of five carries.

The production from these guys took a lot of weight off of sophomore Damari Alston and junior Brian Battie, who was effective in the return game.

Having Hunter back will be beneficial for the offense as his explosiveness and physicality are simply difficult to replicate.

Hunter and the rest of the Tigers take on the Cal Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Kick-off is set for 9:30 p.m. CT, and ESPN will have the broadcast.

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