Nick Marshall's Injury Puts Spotlight Back on Auburn Freshman QB Jeremy Johnson

By Patrick Schmidt
Nick Marshall
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall injured his throwing shoulder early in the second quarter after he was sacked by Florida Atlantic’s Robinson Eugene and didn’t return to the game for the Tigers.

The good news is that the injury is not considered serious, and the first-year starter may be good to go for the Tigers’ next game vs. Arkansas. Marshall completed his only pass attempt of the game for 10 yards and added six carries for 73 yards and a 10-yard touchdown.

The good news for Auburn is that the opponent tonight was a 2-5 Florida Atlantic team, and not a team who would be better equipped to take advantage of a team losing its starting quarterback. I’m not done with the good news, because in relief of Marshall for the second time this season, true freshman Jeremy Johnson looked like a future star at the most important position on the football field. Johnson threw a 36-yard touchdown to Sammie Coates on his first play.

The reigning Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama has been stellar — when given an opportunity to flash his raw ability this season. Johnson passed for four touchdowns in his first career start vs. Western Carolina while completing 81 percent of his passes and finished with 196 yards on 11-of-17 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.

Johnson was buoyed by a dominating ground game that finished with more than 400 yards and a 7.2 yards per carry average, and three backs scoring touchdowns. After the game, head coach Gus Malzahn did not know the extent of the shoulder injury to Marshall.

With a punishing rushing attack and a road date with the downtrodden Razorbacks next week, if Marshall is not 100 percent, Auburn should start Johnson and feel comfortable about it. He’s the future at the position, and he just may end up being the present as well.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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