Auburn Offense: Week 2 Position Grades

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Sep 6, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) tries to avoid San Jose State Spartans safety

Forrest Hightower

(12) during the first half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports


If there were one position group that did not reach its full potential Saturday, it would be quarterback. While it was far from a poor performance, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

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  • Nick Marshall has improved his throwing mechanics, and he has progressed as a passer since 2013, but accuracy is still an issue from time to time and he can still be inconsistent throwing the football.

    The bulk of the senior’s work in the passing game came in the second quarter Saturday, and Marshall completed only 50% of his passes in the first half of the game. When the teams went to the locker rooms for halftime, Marshall had competed eight of 16 attempts for 84 yards and a touchdown.

    Marshall completed two of three passes in the second half and finished the game with 101 passing yards and an average of 5.3 yards per attempt. Jeremy Johnson was 3-for-4 for 34 yards and also scored on a one-yard touchdown run.

    Fortunately for Marshall, the Auburn Tigers will not live and die with his right arm and he provides explosive ability as a runner. He showed tremendous burst and big-play ability with a 49-yard run on a draw play on the game’s first series, but he did not secure the ball near the goal line and fumbled it into the end zone for a Spartan touchback.

    Despite his ups and downs, the coaching staff believes in Nick Marshall.

    “I have a ton of belief in him,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said early this week. “A little bit of it was, as a whole, we were a little off with our passing game and give San Jose State some credit. They did a really good job of mixing up looks, which was good.”

    The most important thing is that Nick Marshall got the job done and led the Tigers to a victory. And, by the way, he is still one of the best players in the conference at his position.

    Plus, he will continue to improve over the course of the season – just like the rest of the Auburn offense.

    “We look at what can be better,” Lashlee told the media following practice on Tuesday. “He knows, playing Kansas State, that he’s got to play better, the wideouts have to play better, the line, the running backs, everybody. We’re going to have to make a lot of plays in the passing game. We feel like we can do it. We just have to go out and prove it.”

    Grade: B-