Barring any unforeseen developments, Nick Marshall will remain Auburn’s quarterback for the 2014 season as the Tigers look to defend their SEC title and make a push for the College Football Playoff. Marshall, though, will not start Auburn’s season opener against Arkansas due to a marijuana possession citation this offseason. Just who might start in his place for the first game of the season could be determined this week, with the season set to kickoff next week.
The most likely scenario appears to be Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn handing the offense to sophomore Jeremy Johnson, but as previously reported, Marshall is expected to see some playing time in the first game of the year as well. The big question is just how soon Marshall will enter the game. After one series? One quarter? One half?
“Talking to coach I think probably here in the next couple of days we’ll go ahead and decide how we want to handle that,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said Sunday, per Al.com. “We have not made a decision yet, both those guys have repped and had a good fall camp. So, I think probably pretty soon, at least internally, we’ll know how we’re going to handle it and then coach will address that when he’s ready and we’ll have a good plan.”
Over the weekend Johnson sung Marshall’s praises to the media, guaranteeing the Auburn quarterback will win the Heisman Trophy, joining Cam Newton, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan in Auburn history. Johnson may get to take advantage of some early playing time in Marshall’s brief absence, but there is certainly no quarterback controversy to be seen on the plains.