Auburn's Nick Marshall had Auburn heading to the end zone in the first half of last Saturday's win
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — His numbers may not be overwhelming, but Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee says quarterback Nick Marshall is doing just fine.
Thanks for asking.
"I have a ton of belief in him," Lashlee said after Tuesday's practice.
Lashlee was quick to point out that Auburn, with Marshall at quarterback, had five straight touchdown drives in the first half and had seven scoring drives in all in last Saturday's 59-13 win over San Jose State. He played the first three quarters last Saturday after playing less than a half the week before in a win over Arkansas.
Marshall has hit 14-of-25 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns and has run for 142 yards and two scores. He can rest on that during Auburn's bye week. The Tigers' next game is a week from Thursday at Kansas State.
Marshall was on some Heisman Trophy boards coming into the year after leading Auburn to the BCS title game last season.
"I think when you’re a senior, and you’re returning, the expectations are high," Lashlee said. "Some people say 'Heisman,' some people say this and what not. A lot has been made of it all offseason long.
"Obviously, that’s the only thing anybody cares about. Nobody cares about the fact that 59 points were put on the board and when he was in, other than the fumble, the first six drives touchdowns were scored. Nobody looks at that, and that’s a good thing because that’s how we are as coaches.
"We look at what can be better? He knows, playing Kansas State, that he’s got to play better, the wideouts have to play better, the line, the running backs, everybody. We’re going to have to make a lot of plays in the passing game. We feel like we can do it. We just have to go out and prove it."
Auburn will play at Kansas State a week from Thursday. Marshall is pushing toward that, trying to get past a fumble that cost him a touchdown after a 50-yard run and "he missed a few throws he’s got to hit. A couple of times we had some pressure in his face, and you can’t have that."
Lashlee also said…
• Receiver Sammie Coates, who missed the San Jose State because of an undisclosed injury, is headed to play at Kansas State.
"Sammie is doing well. We feel really good that he'll be back pretty soon," he said.
• The offensive line did well, Lashlee said, but the Tigers are "still light years away from where we want to be, but I think we made slow and steady progress."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine