May 31, 2014
Auburn's Nick Marshall was on target against Mississippi State last season
By Charles Goldberg
DESTIN, Fla. — Mississippi State calls Dak Prescott "one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks." Auburn got a taste of his versatility last season when he passed for 213 yards and ran for 133 more last season in a game in which the Tigers had to stage a last-minute rally to win 24-20.
Prescott and the Bulldogs will be looking for a different result when Auburn visits Starkville on Oct. 11 for the Tigers' sixth game of the season.
That's why we care, all in conjunction with the SEC spring meetings.
Mississippi State flew under the radar at the SEC's annual spring event here, but a non-conference schedule against Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama and Tennessee-Martin, and cross-divisional games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, puts the Bulldogs in a position to make some noise, at least overall record-wise.
Prescott isn't the only dual-threat quarterbacks in the league. Auburn's Nick Marshall rushed for more than a 1,000 yards and passed for almost 2,000 more last season. It was against Mississippi State that he threw for a career-high 339 yards, including the 11-yard game-winner to C.J. Uzomah with all of 10 seconds remaining.
That was the third game of the season, and perhaps the first hint of a turnaround season and dramatic finishes to come for the Tigers. Marshall hit 6-of-8 passes in the final drive that covered 88 yards in 11 plays in less than two minutes.
That was also the game that Marshall caught a deflected pass that hit a defender, and then raced for a 37-yard gain.
"I didn't know what to think about that," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn that day.
Prescott had a season-high 22 carries against Auburn, so the Tigers will know what to expect this season. In a world that includes Marshall, it was Prescott who led the SEC in rushing touchdowns. He accounted for 25 TDs, including two touchdown catches, and did it despite missing two games with an elbow injury.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine