En route to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game, the Auburn Tigers offense has progressively gotten better as the weeks have gone on. They’ve gone from struggling against Washington State in the beginning of the season, to putting up 59 points in the SEC Championship Game against Missouri.
There was also something else that happened in the SEC title game in Atlanta. QB Nick Marshall fumbled three times, something that has plagued him all season long, even with how much better he’s gotten.
Because of this, the Auburn coaching staff has been putting a lot of emphasis on this, including offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee trying to knock the ball out of his hands in practice if he sees it’s not tucked tightly:
“If he sees me having not tucked (the ball) tight he’ll try to sneak up on me and knock it out,” Marshall said. “If he knocks it out, it’s like 10 to 20 up-downs.”
Head coach Gus Malzahn was also quick to point out this Marshall’s fumbling is a point of emphasis leading up to the showdown against Florida State:
“You’re exactly right. That’s what we’re focusing on,” Malzahn said last week. “We’ve got to protect the football. Of course that’s where it starts — with the quarterback. Coach Lashlee’s on top of that. I really believe we’ll get that correct.”