Oct. 19, 2013
Quarterback Nick Marshall scores Auburn’s first touchdown Saturday against Texas A&M (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Phillip Marshall
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The noise was so loud that the ground shook under Nick Marshall’s feet. But in the huddle, he was calm. He’s always calm.
“He had that look in his eye,” running back Tre Mason said. “He had that look like ‘We’re going to score a touchdown.’”
Mason and his teammates had seen that look before, when Marshall led Auburn on an 88-yard drive in the last 1:56 to beat Mississippi State. But that was at home. This was a new test.
And Marshall did it again, leading the Tigers 75 yards in 13 plays to the winning touchdown as they beat No. 7 Texas A&M 45-41.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Marshall said when it was over. “They have a great offense and defense. We were able to execute and stay calm and do what we do best. What was going through my mind was getting the plays called and making the proper reads. We were able to do that and go down there and score.”
The noise, Marshall said, was not a problem. Auburn players practiced last week with loud noise reverberating inside the indoor practice facility.
“You just have to keep your composure and stay locked in on what the coaches call,” Marshall said. “We worked on that with loud music all week, so I was used to it.”
Marshall threw two passes for touchdowns and ran for two more. He passed for 236 yards and ran for 100 yards on 20 carries. On the final drive, he turned to Mason, who scored the winning touchdown on a hard-nose run and a reach for the goal line and had 178 yards on 27 carries for the night.
But the biggest play on the biggest drive was a pass. Facing third-and-9 at the Texas A&M 39, Marshall lofted a pass down the sideline for freshman wide receiver Marcus Davis, who made a spectacular catch at the 12. Two plays later, Mason took it home.
“I had to have confidence to make that throw,” Marshall said. “He was able to back me up.”
Marshall led Auburn on three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, wiping out a 10-point Texas A&M lead.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: