AUBURN, Ala. -- A knee injury to quarterback Nick Marshall has his status in doubt for Saturday’s game against Western Carolina at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Marshall has thrown for 902 yards with 4 TD's and 4 INT's/Todd Van Emst photo
Marshall, who has started the first five games, injured his knee last Saturday against Ole Miss.
"We'll make that decision probably tomorrow or Friday on how he's doing and what our plan is,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He is getting better, matter of fact quite a bit better.”
If Marshall is unable to play Saturday, Malzahn was unsure who would start at quarterback for the Tigers. Sophomore Jonathan Wallace, who started four games last season, is listed as the back quarterback on the depth chart.
But it was freshman Jeremy Johnson who dueled with Marshall for the starting position the final week of preseason camp.
“I don't know yet. We're still working through that,” Malzahn said. “...Jonathan and Jeremy have got a lot of reps in practice since fall camp and even during the season. We'd be confident in both of those guys executing our offense.”
Marshall completed 11-of-17 passes for 93 yards against the Rebels but did most of his damage on the ground. He rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
“He really ran the offense well,” Malzahn said. “He ran the ball well. We ran a lot of read zones and he made good decisions every time. He showed a lot of toughness and protected the football.”
Malzahn said he’s pleased with Marshall’s progression as a passer.
“He’s got a quick release. He’s getting better with his timing throws and I think he’s improving,” he said.
More from Malzahn:
On Wednesday’s practice...
“I felt like we had a solid practice. We focused on our third downs, focused on the red zone. I thought our guys had pretty good energy, overall pretty well pleased.”
On the chances of Marshall not playing...
“I would say there's a chance, probably not a very good chance, but there's a chance.”
On tight end Brandon Fulse...
“We feel like he graded out pretty well last week, he did a good job with his blocking assignments and the routes he ran we felt like were pretty solid.”
On linebacker Cassanova McKinzy...
“Good. Yeah, practiced the last two days.”
On having Chris Davis back as a starting cornerback...
“Yeah, he looks a lot better. Looks like he's improving every day. He looked good this week.”
On cornerback Jonathan Jones returning...
“He made a couple impact plays in the game. I was very pleased. He's a very explosive player and it was good to have him back.”
On Western Carolina...
“They have a couple of good receivers I feel like, their quarterback can really run. They're a scrappy bunch.”
On special teams...
“Last week, the focus was on downing the football inside the 10-yard line and the guys really responded. That was an impact play that Jonathan Jones had on the 1-yard line. So we really just focused on little things. We've got our personnel pretty much straight. We're just focusing on the little things to make each unit better.”
On going for a 2-point conversion after first TD...
“We're trying to do everything we can to win the game and put pressure on the opponent and keep the pressure on. If the opportunity presents itself and we feel like there's a very high percentage of being successful, we'll do it. That's our philosophy and we're going to be very aggressive.”
On going to Waffle House after an early afternoon game...
“We gotta win first.”
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