September 6, 2013

Follow, then lead

AUBURN | A common question posed to me on radio shows and during conversations this week surrounds quarterback Nick Marshall and if his performance against Washington State last week was a disappointment.

No. A thousand times no.

Was Marshall incredible? We all know the answer to that. The junior-college transfer was 10-of-19 for 99 yards against the Cougars, which is pretty ordinary based on an average statistical footprint.

Quarterbacks are supposed to throw touchdown passes. Cam Newton finished with 30 of those during the 2010 season and had only a pair of zero-touchdown games. (Interestingly, those performances were against Kentucky and LSU; two games that Newton affected profoundly in other ways.)

So what gives with Marshall?

There are three things to remember when it comes to analyzing Nick Marshall:

  • Don't expect Cam Newton

  • He arrived during the summer, not the spring

  • He focused exclusively on defense as a freshman at UGA

    Marshall developed some bad habits during his lone season as Garden City Community College's quarterback. He exhibited freakish athletic ability, which is what intrigued Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee when they made initial contact as Arkansas State representatives, but he also was sloppy with the football in a variety of ways ...

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