Sept. 22, 2013
Auburn's Nick Marshall looks past the drama for an open receiver (AP photo)
By Charles Goldberg
BATON ROUGE, La. — It was a slow start for Nick Marshall, and most everybody associated with Auburn. But the Tigers showed some moxie in the second half of Saturday's 35-21 loss to LSU, and Marshall showed he still has big-play capabilities.
The Auburn quarterback accounted for 270 yards Saturday, and finished a two-game run through LSU and Mississippi State with 667 total yards.
How did he get there? He was Auburn's leading passer and second leading rusher against LSU. The week before, he was the Tigers' leading passer, third leading rusher and seventh leading receiver.
Marshall completed 17-of-33 passes Saturday, and the numbers improved dramatically after Auburn found itself down 21-0 at the half.
"I just told the team it wasn't over because we had another half of football to play," Marshall said. "Some of the team really responded," he said, and everybody played hard "until the end of the game."
Marshall was still throwing in the end zone with a minute to play.
One of the highlights for Marshall was a 52-yard pass to Sammie Coates. It was Marshall's third 50-yard-plus pass of the season. But Saturday left Marshall looking for more consistent play.
"We have to execute more," he said. "We had a lot of busted plays. We'll start next week and watch film and work on our corrections."
Marshall was 11-of-17 passing in the second half after going 6-of-16 in the first.
"Coach gave us a speech at halftime. Second half, we came out able to execute and make plays," Marshall said. "We were able to make plays and score touchdowns. He told us to never stop fighting and go out and play relentless football. We did that and we were able to execute.
"I had to come out and make plays and make throws I didn't in the first half. Coach told me I needed to make those throws, and so I did the way he told me."
Malzahn said Marshall's first road start was hurt by inconsistency. Rain didn't help early in the game.
"Nick never really got in a rhythm," Malzahn said. "The second half we kind of calmed down and got into our rhythm.”
Auburn is off next Saturday. Marshall said that's OK.
"We are still confident going into our bye week and then into the next week," he said. "We are going to go in and correct what we messed up tonight. We will get better after that.
"I will grow a lot from this. I learned a lot from tonight. I learned from the mistakes I made and how to execute the ball like we did in the second half."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine