Aug 28, 2013
Nick Marshall looks for a good start in Saturday's opener (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Jonathon Mincy sees quarterback Nick Marshall from a different perspective than you and me.
The Auburn cornerback has to defend him in practice. Here's his scouting report on the junior college transfer who'll be the Tigers' starting quarterback against Washington State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
"I feel he makes great decisions, and he doesn't see anything open, he doesn't force it. He'll turn it over to his legs, and that's something you like in a quarterback — a guy who is always going to make positive decisions," Mincy said.
Sure enough, Marshall can bring the run to the quarterback game. But Mincy says Marshal is a passer.
"If he's on one side of the hash, he can throw the ball all around the field. That's something you look for in your quarterback," he said. "You feel very confident as a team just knowing your quarterback can make big-time throws and also make big decisions in the game. That's something we look forward to seeing from him this season."
Marshall warmed up for this season at Garden City Community College in Kansas by passing for 3,142 yards and 18 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He ran for 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns. He'll take those big numbers into Saturday's season-opener, but Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says Marshall will be learning his offense on the go.
"Nick will be our first quarterback that we have had that didn’t get the chance to go through spring and get familiar here. He is learning every day," Malzahn said. "We named him the starter because we feel like when he was comfortable, he earned that position.
"From a coaching standpoint, we have to protect him and ask him to do things that he is comfortable in doing and not ask him to do things that he is not. I will be curious to see how he responds. In practice, you put them through as many game-type situations as you can, but until you get in the arena, that is when everything comes clear."
Malzahn said Marshall is "very accurate. He really is. He has shown that he is accurate, not just in the deep game, but the intermediate and short game also."
Malzahn said he'll be smart with Marshall early.
"You try to strategically get your quarterback off to a good start with stuff that he is comfortable with and familiar with and has confidence in. As the game gets going, you get a feel when they come to the sidelines how he is taking things in. We will definitely keep that in mind early in the game," Malzahn said.
"I think anytime you’ve got a first year starter and it gets closer, you want to give them confidence, that you believe in them, you trust them, and that they’re going to do great, because you have already done the work and you have already done the preparations. It is just a matter of telling your guy to go out there and do great and have fun. That is more less the message for Saturday afternoon."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: