After Auburn’s 24-point home win over Arkansas on Saturday, the question started to arise on Twitter, media websites and blogs…

Should Auburn actually be starting Jeremy Johnson?

Johnson completed 12 of 16 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns against the Razorbacks. He looked in command and comfortable in the offense, and came out firing on all cylinders with a Tiger offense that picked up where it left off in 2013.

Marshall didn’t get a chance to show improvement in the passing game on Saturday, sitting out the first half due to his offseason citation for marijuana possession. He went 4-6 for 50 yards.  His return after halftime did seem to give the Tigers a spark, however.

Offseason reports documented Gus Malzahn’s desire to have a more balanced offense this season and that Marshall had been working throughout the spring and fall to improve his mechanics and accuracy as a passer. He never stepped into throws last season, threw often off of his front foot and threw on the run actually better than he did from the pocket. Marshall’s arm strength has never been in question, but his fundamentals needed work.

With him set to start moving forward against San Jose State and then a week from Thursday against a very quality non-conference opponent in Kansas State, Marshall has a great chance to show improvement  through the air.

But does the play breakdown from Saturday’s game show Malzahn’s confidence in Marshall as a passer?

Jeremy Johnson was credited with 16 plays from scrimmage, all of them pass attempts. Marshall was credited with 14 plays — six passes and eight runs.  That looks balanced, but it accounts for Marshall’s one half of play. We’ll know more when he plays a full game, but to some extent, Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee have to feel more comfortable opening up the passing game with Johnson under center based on their playcalling for the two quarterbacks.

Johnson was Mr. Football in Alabama and highly-recruited by Malzahn coming to Auburn. Marshall was a great fit for Malzahn’s system coming from the JUCO level. Both have different strengths; Johnson is a better passer, but Marshall poses a greater running threat.

Auburn doesn’t need another weapon in the run game, though. They do, however, need to utilize the amount of talent they have at the receiver position including Sammie Coates, Duke Williams, Ricardo Louis and Melvin Ray.

Johnson’s that guy. Marshall has a chance to show he’s now that guy.