'No new news' on Nick Marshall front, starting quarterback's status still 'day-to-day'

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 30, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala.Nick Marshall has practiced every day this week.

But don’t pencil him in to start Saturday’s game against Arkansas just yet. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said it could be a “game-time decision” whether Marshall will take the field with the first-team offense on its initial possession versus the Razorbacks.

“Nothing’s changed” Malzahn said of Marshall’s status following Wednesday’s practice. “It’s still day-to-day. No new news on that.”

Malzahn said the coaching staff has been keeping tabs of how Marshall responds in practice, making sure he’s had no issues passing the ball after injuring his throwing shoulder in last week’s victory over Florida Atlantic.

“He’s our starting quarterback, “Malzahn said. “Anytime you know, you want to make sure that he can do what he does and make sure that he gives you the best chance of winning.”

When asked whether Marshall or backup Jeremy Johnson took the majority of the reps with the first-string, Malzahn couldn’t recall.

“I couldn’t really tell you. I mean I really couldn’t,” he said. “They split reps.”

Johnson entered last week’s after Marshall had gone to the locker room. The true freshman tossed a pair of touchdowns — both to Sammie Coates — and ended with 192 yards on 10 of 16 passing. For that performance, he was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week on Monday, the second time in his career the Montgomery, Ala., native earned that designation. The first came after the true freshman made his collegiate debut versus Western Carolina. Johnson was near-perfect, completing 81 percent of his passes (17-for-21) for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

If Johnson has to make his second career start this Saturday, Malzahn said he wouldn’t bat an eye.

“That’s yet to be determined but like I’ve said before, we’ve got a lot of confidence in Jeremy,” he said. “He came in last week and did a very solid job.”

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