Auburn's Marshall gets better of former team

Auburn's Marshall gets better of former team

November 17th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) grabs wide receiver Ricardo Louis (5) after Louis scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Georgia at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Auburn. Ala. Auburn won 43-38.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall figured to be a handful for his former team, and he was.

The former Georgia cornerback rushed 19 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns and completed 15 of 26 passes for 229 yards and a score in leading the Tigers to a riveting 43-38 win over the Bulldogs. His aerial touchdown was a fourth-and-18 heave to Ricardo Louis with 25 seconds remaining that was tipped by Bulldogs safety Josh Harvey-Clemons before Louis hauled it in for a 73-yard score.

Marshall engineered an offense that racked up 566 yards.

"I knew the type of athlete he was," Georgia safety Corey Moore said. "Overall, we made a memory out there."

Moore was among the touted "Dream Team" signees who arrived with Marshall in 2011. Marshall played as a reserve that season and on special teams but was dismissed from the program in the winter of 2012 for allegedly stealing from a teammate.

After playing quarterback at Garden City Community College in Kansas last autumn, the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder signed with Auburn earlier this year.

"It felt weird at first, but then again it was just another team and another opponent," Marshall said. "I didn't really pay too much mind to it. We just keep doing what we always do."

Auburn entered Saturday averaging 320 rushing yards a game and quickly got the better of the Bulldogs with 246 first-half rushing yards. The Tigers reached their average on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 4-yard run by Tre Mason, but their final seven rushes produced a net of 3 yards.

"I don't think we did a very good job in the first half on the edge runs," Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "You've got to set the edge on defense, and they got the edge on us too much. We kept battling and did a much better job in the second half, and in the fourth quarter we did a really good job of doing what we had to do to get us back in the game."

Said Auburn tailback Corey Grant: "Georgia just picked up on what we were doing, so they adjusted and it showed."

The Tigers had just 20 fourth-quarter yards until Marshall and Louis connected for the game-winner. After it was over, Moore was among several Bulldogs players who visited with Marshall.

"I just told him that it was a good game overall and that they got away with one," Moore said.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.