AUBURN, Ala. — Rhett Lashlee couldn’t contain his excitement with last Saturday’s victory — especially when his unit had some of the pressure taken off it thanks to other areas of the Tigers stepping up.
“Anytime (special teams) Coach (Scott) Fountain wants to score to touchdowns, I’m all in,” Auburn's offensive coordinator said. “Our special teams were great all day. That really helped us offensively. Not just scoring two touchdowns, but they set us up with really good field position several times. I was proud of our guys, the way they were able to finish off those good opportunities.”
Of course, Auburn’s offense didn’t do a bad job when it had to score on its own. The Tigers had four scoring drives that lasted two minutes or less. Four also marks the number of times the Tigers have run for more than 400 yards this season. The majority of that came from quarterback Nick Marshall, who carried 14 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
Lashlee wasn’t sure why Marshall had a career-best showing last week. Then again, he saw no reason to question it, as Lashlee noted the junior signal-caller is getting a better feel for the playbook and the things the coaching staff demands with each passing week.
“He got a few more opportunities to keep the ball,” Lashlee said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the way Tre (Mason) has played the last few weeks or not. For whatever reason, he had a good feel on some of them. They were overplaying Tre a little bit and he was keeping the ball. What he did really well was, when it was there, he showed a good burst on a couple of those runs.”
And when Marshall gets out in the open field?
At that point, Lashlee said it’s just about game over for any defense.
“A lot of times there was a free hitter, a free safety or an outside back, and he made them miss or outran them,” he said. “We feel like if you can get Nick one-on-one with someone out in space, we’re going to win more of those battles than we lose.”