Nov. 20, 2013
Nick Marshall's long throw found its way to Ricardo Louis for an Auburn TD (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, Amanda Sowards)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. – Maybe Nick Marshall was really supposed to throw for the first down, and not way down field, but Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee wasn’t complaining about the outcome.
"Who am I to question a touchdown?" Lashlee sheepishly asked Wednesday night.
Marshall’s 73-yard touchdown to toss to Ricardo Louis that beat Georgia 43-38 last Saturday remains one of the hot topics in Auburn on Wednesday during the Tigers’ bye week. Auburn is working toward its Nov. 30 game against Alabama in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Marshall has rallied Auburn to late wins against Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Georgia.
"He’s a winner. Guys believe in him," Lashlee said.
Lashlee says the respect for Marshall runs deep, even at Georgia.
"Every one of their players helped him up…that’s respect," Lashlee said.
Lashlee and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson talked about the Tigers after practice. Here are some of the highlights:
•Lashlee, on when he thought Auburn might be on the way to a special season: "After A&M, you thought anything was possible." Auburn beat Texas A&M 45-41 on Oct. 19.
•On Alabama’s run defense against Auburn’s running game:
"It’s strength against strength. They’re the best in the country, probably stopping it. We’re pretty good running it," Lashlee said.
•Lashlee on Tre Mason’s 115 rushing yards against Georgia.
"I thought those were hard yards. I thought our line was extremely physical."
•Lashlee on offensive line coach J.B. Grimes: "You could say it every week. He’s done a incredible job." Lashlee said the offensive line is probably playing the best, as a unit, in college football.
•Lashlee on the limited play for quarterback Jeremy Johnson: "You really hate to disturb things" with Marshall playing so well.
•Lashlee on if there are any trick plays on the horizon: "We’ll see. We’ve got to leave something up to the imagination."
•Johnson confirmed safety Justin Garrett is taking a redshirt season after injuries have limited him to two games.
•Johnson says Georgia and Alabama’s offenses are different, but "when you’ve got good players, the system is going to work."
•Johnson on the off week: "We’ve got a lot of guys who are tired, beat up. This is really going to help us."
•Johnson on practice: "We’ve really focused more on us this week, not Alabama."
•Johnson mentioned Auburn’s seven-game winning streak, but "our players know we’ve got to improve to have any chance to beat Alabama."
•Johnson has coached 38 years. Where has he coached the most? Alabama, eight years. 1990-93 and 1997-2000.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine