By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall hadn't really shown much with his feet entering Saturday's game against No. 24 Ole Miss.
Aside from displaying some nifty escapability and a few runs out of the read-option, the junior signal-caller has been used primarily as a pocket passer for the Tigers' offense so far midway through the season.
However, with the Rebels keying in on running backs Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne, Marshall was finally able to show just how impressive he could be carrying the rock for the Orange and Blue in a 30-22 victory.
The dual-threat gunslinger collected 140 yards on 14 rush attempts, scoring two touchdowns on runs of 5 yards each. It was the first time an Auburn quarterback has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark since Cam Newton did so in the Tigers' 49-31 win over Georgia back during the 2010 season.
"I thought he helped us win the game with his feet for sure," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of his quarterback. "He showed a lot of toughness and did what it took to get us the win. He's really talented at the read-option, and he can put pressure on opposing defenses when we run it right."
Marshall also completed 11 of 17 passes for 93 yards, most of that coming in the first half before the Tigers firmly established the running game. He accounted for over 60 percent of Auburn's 375 total offensive yards.
‰ Freshman Sensation: Heralded 5-star recruit and defensive end Carl Lawson played the best game of his young career on Saturday, collecting two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. He was a consistent pass-rushing threat on the edge for the Tigers all game long, especially in the second half when his team needed a play.
‰ Making History: With Marshall's 140-yard performance on the ground, the Tigers set a school record by having four different players rush for more than 100 yards in a season. Corey Grant picked up 146 yards in Auburn's season-opener win over Washington State, Artis-Payne netted 102 against Arkansas State and Mason was good for 132 yards in the Tigers' loss to LSU.
‰ Housing It: Robinson Therezie sent the Auburn nation into a first-quarter frenzy after the junior defensive back picked off Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace — his third interception of the season — and scampered 78-yards down the sideline for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 13-3 advantage early in the game.
It was Auburn's first pick-six since former walk-on safety Trent Fisher returned a 60-yarder to the end zone during the Tigers' 51-7 win over Alabama A&M last season.
‰ Injury Update: In a scary moment for the Tigers, linebacker Cassanova McKinzy went down following the final play of the first quarter. McKinzy was motionless for several minutes and had to be carted off the field in a stretcher with an apparent neck/head injury. He was taken to East Alabama Medical Center, where he was reported to have moment in all extremities. McKinzy later returned to the sideline.
Defensive tackle Montravious Adams also left in the third quarter with a knee injury.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at email@example.com.