A day after Auburn Tigers’ Athletic Director Jay Jacobs lobbied for the Tigers to play in the BCS National Championship, Tigers’ Head Coach Gus Malzahn is doing some lobbying of his own.
Malzahn believes his quarterback, Nick Marshall, is a Heisman Trophy contender.
“He should be in the mix, there’s no doubt,” Malzahn told Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com. “I don’t get the chance to watch other teams like y’all do, but he should be in the mix. He’s one of the better players in college football, and he’s leading our team.”
Marshall does have pretty good credentials. The 6’1, 210 lb. junior has completed just 119-of-201 passes for just 1,627 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions, but has put up huge numbers on the ground, rushing for 922 yards and 10 touchdowns on 140 attempts. His team is also 11-1 and could be an upset away from playing for a national title. He even has a few “Heisman moments,” throwing the game-winning touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs and the game-tying touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide’ in Saturday’s 34-28 upset victory.
Marshall’s stats don’t even come close to matching up with some of the other candidates, like Florida State Seminoles’ quarterback Jameis Winston, but Malzahn doesn’t think the Tigers would be anywhere without their signal-caller.
“We’re a quarterback-oriented offense,” Malzahn explained. “If he plays well, we play well. If he doesn’t, we don’t.”