Nick Marshall on Auburn’s offense: ‘We can be real scary’

NCAA Football: Auburn-Spring Game

Scarier than last year? That’s a troublesome thought for opponents.

Auburn’s spring game was an offensive freak show, led by quarterback Nick Marshall, receivers Sammie Coates and D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams and running backs Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne.

The offense was as sharp as ever Saturday in front of the 70,624 fans. Gus Malzahn’s offense reminded us how explosive and dynamic it can be, along with how fun and entertaining it can be to watch it shred defenses.

RELATED: Auburn’s offense will run the ball down your throat

Marshall finished 13 of 22 (59.1 percent) for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Yes, he was going against the second-team defense, and, yes, his passing game has improved. He was sharp and crisp on short to intermediate throws, something he struggled with last year. Marshall has a huge arm, and we know the damage he can make when he turns the corner, too. What’s the limit for this offense? Marshall told reporters after Saturday’s game he knows how dangerous the Tigers could be in year two under Malzahn.

“As y’all can see, we can be real scary,” Marshall said. “We know we can run the ball. We’re just focusing on throwing the ball down the field.”

Although Marshall won the game’s MVP, the most intriguing emerging prospect was JUCO transfer Duke Williams, who impressed the coaching staff throughout spring practice. On Saturday, he showed us why. Williams displayed uncanny body control on a fade route from Marshall in the corner, and he caught the ball well throughout the game. Another big and physical specimen Williams certainly is, and he’ll be quite the red zone weapon in Malzahn’s back pocket.

RELATED: Auburn had a nice recruiting weekend, too

Running backs Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant reminded how well they complemented one another last year, certainly before Tre Mason proved he couldn’t be stopped. CAP is a between-the-tackles bruiser, while Grant looks like he’s shot out of a cannon every time he touches it.

It’s easy to fall in love with Auburn because of the offense, and any improvement on defense will help make Auburn a national championship contender in back-to-back years.

Photo Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • I’m really excited to see more players and fans expressing “scary” excitement about attacking football. From my seat in Missouri, Saturday I liked Sammie Coates and company.

    The thing about Auburn last year was deception + blocking (ok, sometimes a little holding too, laughs). It’s not that important who catches the ball or runs with it. Still going back to that formula for the Alabama Tiger stripes. Hope for a re-match with Missouri this year. Who knows maybe a #1 v #2 ranked rematch. (Missouri ranked #1 of course), grin.

  • I watched some of aubums stuff the other day. what I saw was nobody on defence. I could have completed all those passes with nobody within 20 yards of the receiver before marshall uses the word scarie play somebody first.

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