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Auburn notebook: Calm, confident Nick Marshall leads way

Sept. 19, 2013

Here comes Nick Marshall and Auburn (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn coach Gus Malzahn says quarterback Nick Marshall is still working with the base offense, but the Tigers are adding more to his workload each week. 

Marshall seems to be accepting the responsibility, especially after throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah with 10 seconds left to beat Mississippi State 24-20 last week. 

"I really believe that will help him a long way. As a matter of fact, this week I've seen a difference in him.  I think he's confident. He's more calm," Malzahn said during the weekly Tiger Talk radio show Thursday. 

"He had a very good practice today, the best Thursday practice he's had. We'll need that going into a hostile environment." 

Hostile environment? That's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, all right, where Auburn will play LSU at 6:45 Saturday night. 

Malzahn said Auburn is adding "tweaks" to its base offense, and said Marshall is accepting it all. 

"We're pleased with the way he's progressed. And we were able to add more this week," Malzahn said. 

Marshall's 339 yards last week were the most by an Auburn quarterback since Brandon Cox passed for 342 yards against Georgia Tech in the 2005 season-opener. 

Ho-hum. It was all in a day's work for Nick Marshall. 

"That's exactly who he is. He doesn't get too high, too low," Malzahn said. "He's the same person at practice. He's the type who doesn't say much, but when he talks, the rest of the offense...for that matter,  the rest of the team really listens. That's a sign of a very good leader."

Other Tiger Talk tidbits... 

•Malzahn didn't go into specific about injuries. 

"We're a little banged up, but at the same time, a lot of people are this time of year," he said. 

Auburn was nursing injuries last week, too, and Malzahn said he was pleased how the reserves stepped in and played well. 

•On allowing former quarterback-turned-defensive back Kiehl Frazier to take three direct snaps as a Wildcat quarterback. 

"We have a lot of confidence in Kiehl. The fact he wasn't playing a lot on defense ... 'Hey, let's utilize him in some things we feel good about.' He's a veteran guy. He did a solid job for us," Malzahn said. 

•A caller said he hoped Auburn wasn't getting the "big head" after its 3-0 start. 

"I don't think that's been a problem at all. They're hungry. They have a lot of work to do. We have no issues with anybody getting a big head," Malzahn said. 

•On whether Auburn will "tweak" its  running game for LSU. 

"There are no doubts there needs to be," Malzahn said. 

Auburn's run game carried the Tigers in the first two games, but was limited to a modest 120 yards against Mississippi State.

Charles Goldberg writes for Follow him on Twitter: 



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