It won’t be Johnny Manziel or AJ McCarron. The SEC likely won’t even have a Heisman finalist in 2013.
However, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn thinks his quarterback Nick Marshall should be getting some Heisman love, coming off one of the biggest wins in Iron Bowl history, via AL.com.
“He should be in the mix, there’s no doubt,” Malzahn said Monday. “I don’t get a chance to watch other teams like all of you all do but he should be in the mix. He is one of the better players in college football and he is leading our team.
“I am going to say this again, he has only been here for what, six months?” Malzahn said. “What he has done to lead our team and put us where we are at is really unbelievable. He has gotten more comfortable, but that is to be expected. He was learning the offense the first four weeks and each week he is getting more comfortable. His teammates are really playing hard for him.
“You are talking about the best players in America, and I think at this point in the season, you have to start at least mentioning his name with some of these other guys.”
Marshall has been a fantastic player all season long, leading the Tigers to four fourth-quarter comebacks, and he’s combined for 2,549 yards of total offense. But to put that into perspective, Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, Bo Wallace and Zach Mettenberger all combined for more total yardage than Marshall, who is clearly a difference-maker in the Tigers’ explosive rushing attack.
The thing I love about Marshall is his improvement every single week, and it’s obvious. From looking like a liability against Washington State to being the difference-maker against Alabama, Marshall’s evolution as a quarterback has been fun to watch.
Related: SEC Bowl Projections
While offensive head coaches love their quarterbacks, Auburn’s real Heisman candidate is Tre Mason. Mason leads the SEC in rushing with 1,317 yards and 18 touchdowns. His yardage is good for 15th in the country and his 18 touchdowns are tied for fourth. Mason is the lifeblood of the Auburn offense, and he brings a physical and compact smash-mouth attack that truly will never get the credit he deserves.
Neither Mason nor Marshall will get much – if any – Heisman love, but this offense keeps on rolling to the tune of 318.25 rushing yards per game. Can they be stopped? We’ll find out Saturday.
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