Auburn vs LSU Final: Nick Marshall and #AuburnFast Start Lead Blowout of LSU


Oct 4, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) runs a touchdown past LSU Tigers safety Jalen Mills (28) during the second quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Before the game, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn asked his team how many players had beaten Auburn. Only defensive lineman Jeff Whitaker could raise his hand. Following the game, Malzahn said “now we can all raise our hands.”

Auburn vs LSU was nothing like the balanced slugfest we expected. In a battle of top 15 teams, it’s the Auburn Tigers that controlled things. An #AuburnFast start gave the No. 5 Tigers a 31-7 halftime lead over their 15th ranked counterparts, which was the biggest halftime deficit ever for a LES Miles LSU team, and Auburn cruised to a 41-7 final, the 300th SEC win for the Tigers’ program.

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Through the first 30 minutes, the Auburn offense was on fire. The Tigers racked up 379 yards on 41 plays, with much of it coming from the strong right arm and quick feet of Nick Marshall, and an offensive line that featured a new lineup played extremely well.

The senior quarterback accounted for four touchdowns in the first half. He found Sammie Coates three times for 123 yards through the first two quarters, including a 56-yard touchdown in the first, to give Auburn a 10-0 lead. He also found CJ Uzomah for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Marshall finished the half 12-for-16 for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and was 14-for-22 for 207 yards and the two TDs when he was replaced by Jeremy Johnson in the fourth quarter.

Coates added a catch in the second half to give him a new career high of 144 receiving yards.

Of course, Marshall is more than just a passer, and the quarterback added 119 yards and two TDs on 16 carries. He scored from seven yards out to push the lead to 17-0, and ran a 29-yarder to push the lead to 31-7. The running game was a two-headed monster, however, and fellow senior Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 126 yards on 24 carries in the first half. Corey Grant added 29 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Overall, the Tigers rushed for 294 yards and rolled to 562 yards of total offense.

One first half LSU touchdown drive aside, the Auburn defense was dominant. LSU went 75 yards on five plays late in the first quarter, but could manage only 95 yards on 28 plays the rest of the first half and a late second quarter drive ended when the game clock ran out following a Harris throw into the end zone. LSU finished with 280 yards of total offense and the Auburn defense held them to an incredible 0-for-13 on third downs and 0-for-3 on fourth down attempts.

The true freshman, starting his first career game, was 3-for-12 for 58 yards through the first 30 minutes and exited the game in the third quarter in favor of Anthony Jennings. Harris finished his first start 3-for-14 for 58 yards, and 52 of those came on one pass to Malachi Dupre on the touchdown drive. LSU quarterbacks combined to complete only eight of 24 passes for 142 yards.

Cassanova McKinzy, who did not start after not practicing this week suffering a concussion last week against Louisiana Tech, led the team with four tackles in the first half, and added one in the second which tied him with Johnathan Ford and Robenson Therezie for the team lead. Ford added a sack and Kris Frost, who was also limited in practice with an injury, added four tackles.

Daniel Carlson got the scoring started on Auburn’s opening drive with a 46-yard field goal and added a 42-yarder in the third quarter.

The win sets up a huge SEC West road game next week in Starkville against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.