Nov. 9, 2013
Tre Mason rushes for over 1,000 yards, again, for Auburn (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Auburn running back Tre Mason is having those Cam Newton flashbacks again. He gets them when he watches quarterback Nick Marshall run.
Marshall ran for 214 yards and teamed with Mason for 426 combined yards and six touchdowns in leading Auburn past Tennessee 55-23 Saturday in Neyland Stadium. Mason had a memorable game, rushing for 117 yards and three touchdowns as he raced past the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. Mason has seven rushing touchdowns in the last two games.
But Marshall got the Tigers going by running for two scores, passing for another and executing Auburn’s offense to 479 yards.
“That guy is dangerous. It just gives me flashbacks,” Mason said. “He’s going to keep doing that and that’s what’s going to make us win games.”
Tennessee coach Butch Jones said Marshall was “able to control the game with his legs, even when we had individuals in position, we couldn’t get him down. He’s a great player.”
Look out, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Marshall is “starting to understand the offense. He’s making the right decisions. And when he’s getting the ball in space, he can really do something.”
The Tigers scored on offense like this: Whoosh.
The first touchdown drive took 37 seconds, the second took 32 seconds, the third took 1:43, the fourth took 30 seconds before Auburn tried to run the clock with scoring drives of 2:34 and 6:17
Oh, yeah. Chris Davis’ 85-yard punt return for a touchdown and Corey Grant’s 90-yard kickoff return lasted only the time it takes to run the length of a football field.
“Coach Malzahn’s trying to have the fastest offense in America and that’s what we’re in it for,” Mason said.
Auburn improved to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC with Georgia and Alabama waiting in the wings, but Mason shrugged it off.
“There’s always room to make improvements. No one’s ever good enough,” Mason said. “We’ve got to…focus on Georgia. We’re not focused on Alabama. We’re focused solely on Georgia.”
This is what Georgia will see: Its former defensive back quarterbacking Auburn to a surprising season. Marshall has been the wildcard to the Tigers’ turnaround. Mason has been steady, just as he was last year when he rushed for 1,000 yards.
“We’re getting better every week and we’re showing it,” Mason said.
Mason said the offensive line made it an easy day: “We feel like they’re the best in the country and they’re proving it.”
Now, it’s Georgia. Then, it’s Alabama.
“Us winning out, it could actually put us in a spot for the national championship. Who knows?” Mason said. “That’s what we’re aiming for, to win out.”
Video: Tre Mason talks up Auburn's offense, and for good reason:
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine