AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn Tigers coach Gus Malzahn doesn't have enough good things to say about his quarterback Nick Marshall.
In fact, Malzahn believes Marshall should be considered for the most prestigious individual award in college football.
"He should be in the mix, there's no doubt," Malzahn said of Marshall's Heisman Trophy candidacy. Story " SEC blog
Marshall arrived at Auburn only some six months ago from Garden City Community College, and despite not competing in spring practice, he won the starting quarterback job from Day 1 of the season.
He's known primarily as a running quarterback with 922 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. But when he does throw it, he's efficient with 11 touchdowns, five interceptions and a nearly 60 percent completion percentage.
His numbers won't stack up against Heisman favorites like Florida State's Jameis Winston, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel or even Alabama's AJ McCarron, but Malzahn would have Heisman Trophy voters focus on what Marshall has meant to the third-ranked Tigers and their journey to the SEC Championship Game this Saturday against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, but without Marshall scrambling late in the fourth quarter and findingSammie Coatesfor a 39-yard touchdown, the game wouldn't have been tied and the Tigers improbable run would have ended short of a trip to Atlanta.
"We're a quarterback-oriented offense," Malzahn explained. "If he doesn't make those plays we wouldn't be where we are now."
Jay Prosch agreed with his head coach, saying that Marshall "definitely" believed Marshall should be part of the Heisman conversation, crediting his smarts and ability to make improvisational plays.
"You watch film after the game and go, 'Wow!' He's proven himself on the field."
Auburn has had three Heisman Trophy winners in its history:Cam Newtonin 2010, Bo Jackson in 1985 and Pat Sullivan in 1971.