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Nick Marshall passing the torch after big wins at Auburn
Jan. 2, 2015

Nick Marshall leaves Auburn with some pretty fancy passing numbers

By Charles Goldberg

TAMPA, Fla.  Nick Marshall had the best passing game in Auburn history this season and came within a few yards of being the school's all-time leader in rushing as a quarterback.

Marshall's two-year Auburn career that began with leading the Tigers to the BCS title game last season ended Thursday in a 34-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. He then quietly passed the torch to backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
"Jeremy Johnson is a great fit for this offense, and I'm right behind him. It's Team Johnson now," Marshall said after the game.

Marshall's final game looked like this: 15-of-22 passing for 217 yards and two touchdowns, and 18 yards rushing. He even caught a pass. 

But Auburn lost the last game, and finished with an 8-5 record.

"This season didn't turn how we wanted to be, but we're going to keep on moving forward," Marshall said. "I learned a lot of things since I've been here, and will continue to do so in the real world."

Marshall, who arrived before last season as a junior college transfer, leaves Auburn with 4,291 yards and 32 touchdowns passing, and 1,848 yards rushing, all in two years. He was known for his coolness, leading Auburn to last-minute wins, especially last year. Johnson had a spot start or two over that time. He connected on 28-of-37 passes for 436 yards this season. He didn't play Thursday.

Marshall's final game had an unhappy ending, coming after throwing for a school-record 456 yards against Alabama in the regular-season finale. 

Thursday, Auburn gave up the lead with seven seconds left in regulation, and lost in overtime when its field goal try bounced off the right upright. Still, Marshall said, "we never gave up."

Center Reese Dismukes said Marshall played with "heart."

"He left it all out there on the field and that's the type of player that he is," Dismukes said. "He's a winner, and I'm going to miss being with him."

Marshall said Wisconsin came through when it counted.

"You have to hand it to them," Marshall said. "We didn't make the plays that we should have made, and they stood their ground on third down. We just didn't get it done."

Marshall said he'll now begin training for the NFL, but some draft analysts aren't sure he'll play quarterback in the pros. He couldn't be a defensive back, the position he played at Georgia. Recevier? 

"Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to do my best," Marshall said.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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