Auburn Football: Can Nick Marshall Set One More Record in the Outback Bowl?


Nick Marshall has had a big impact in his two seasons with the Auburn football program, and has set a handful of records in his time on the Plains. Can he set one more in the Outback Bowl?

Marshall’s story is well-known by now. He began his career at Georgia, where he saw the field as a defensive back as a true freshman in 2011. He was dismissed from the program and ended up at Garden City Community College in Kansas, where he put up big numbers at his familiar quarterback position.

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With 3,142 passing yards and 1,095 rushing yards in one year at Garden City, Marshall garnered a lot of attention from coaches around the country, but signed with Auburn and its new head coach, Gus Malzahn.

Under Malzahn’s tutelage, Marshall emerged as one of the nation’s top dual threat quarterbacks in 2013 and led the Tigers to the SEC title and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

He also become just the third Auburn quarterback (Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and Jimmy Sidle being the others) to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a season with 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns on only 172 carries as a junior – an impressive 6.2 yards per carry average. In fact, Johnny Manziel is the only other quarterback in SEC history to run for 1,000 yards in a season.

Marshall’s 2013 total put him 817 yards behind Phil Gargis, who has held the top spot in the Auburn football record book for 38 years.

Nov 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) runs against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter of their game at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Gargis ran for a combined 1,345 yards in two seasons commanding Shug Jordan’s veer option offense, then added 534 as a senior in 1976 under new head coach Doug Barfield. All together, Gargis set a record for quarterbacks at Auburn with 1,879 yards that hasn’t been challenged since Marshall came to town.

Can Nick Marshall finally surpass him in the Outback Bowl?

“Finally” seems like an odd choice of words, especially since Marshall has only been on campus for two seasons, but it is appropriate because the senior signal caller has been knocking on the door for over a month.

Marshall needed 113 yards against Georgia November 15 to break the record, which would have been an above average performance, but still well within reach.

The Peach State native already has the Auburn quarterback record for 100-yard rushing games, having passed the century mark in eight of 26 contests for the Tigers, including a career high 214 yards against Tennessee in 2013.

He’s run for 100 yards or more four times in 2014, but not since the loss to Mississippi State on October 11. That day, he surpassed Newton’s 1,473 yards for second on the Auburn all-time list.

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  • Against the Bulldogs, Marshall gained 41 on nine carries, leaving him well short of the record. Odds looked good that he would break through against Samford the next week, but Marshall went backwards instead and finished with minus-9 yards on 11 attempts.

    With 49 yards on the ground against Alabama – which combined with his single-game record 456 passing yards set a new school record for total offense in a game – Nick Marshall needs just 37 in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin to pass Gargis.

    Marshall has 780 yards and 11 touchdowns on 146 carries in 2014, good for a grand total of 1,848 yards and 23 scores heading into his final game in Tampa. That’s an average of 71.1 per game in his record-setting career.

    If Nick Marshall has simply an average day running the football against Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl, he’ll set one more record in his final collegiate game.

    Next: Outback Bowl: Previewing the Wisconsin Offense

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