Auburn first-year starting quarterback Nick Marshall may only have been on campus for a little more than a month, but the junior college transfer is the big man on campus for the Tigers. Marshall had a coming-of-age moment in the final minutes leading the Tigers to a come-from-behind win over Mississippi State in Gus Malzahn’s first SEC game as a head coach.
Marshall has gotten better with each game and practice and tonight was his coming out party on ESPN2 as the dual-threat quarterback got it done with his right arm. Marshall completed 23 of his 34 pass attempts for a career-high 339 yards and two touchdowns.
However, with Auburn driving the field trailing by a field goal with less than a minute on the clock and facing a critical third down, it was Marshall making a play with his feet to give the Tigers a first down at the 11. His run for a first down allowed Auburn to go for the win, and it was tight end C.J. Uzomah making the biggest catch of his career thus far to give Auburn the win with 10 seconds on the clock.
This is the type of win that can give a team momentum that carries over into the following weeks. Marshall and Auburn face a very tough LSU team next week. While an upset may not be in the works just yet, it shows Malzahn made the right call in naming Marshall his starter this fall.
Marshall is far from a finished product, but he is looking more comfortable in this offense and his role as a leader. It’s scary to think about how good he can get with Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee tutoring him.
This was just one win for Marshall and Auburn, but it’s the type of win that will have long-lasting effects and Auburn realized they have a winner at quarterback.