Johnson stepped in and connected with Sammie Coates on a 36-yard touchdown on his first snap after Marshall left the game following sack by the FAU defense. He later found Coates on a 67-yard strike for another six points.
Johnson finished the night with 10 completions in 16 attempts for 192 yard with the two touchdowns and an interception before spending most of the fourth quarter on the sideline while Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace shared signal-calling duties the rest of the way.
"On the first touchdown to Sammie he had man-to-man coverage," Johnson explained. "I just gave him a chance and he made the play,"
"Coach Malzahn always tells me to prepare and focus like a starter. That's what I did throughout the week and before I got in the game."
Johnson had an inkling that he may get in sooner than expected. "Actually, he (Marshall) hurt his shoulder a few plays earlier," Johnson said. "I knew he was hurt and was asking him if he was alright. When he got sacked, coach told me to start warming up. I think he's okay. He always motivates me by telling me to just go out there and lead. That's what I did."
Johnson also picked up 22 yards on four rushes, mostly on zone reads. "I'm okay with the zone read, but it's not really my forte," he said. "I'm pretty much a downhill runner, but if it calls for a zone read, I'll just do it."
As for the SEC game at Arkansas this Saturday, Johnson will prepare just like he has all year--like he may get the start, which is possible if Marshall is sidelined. "If my name is called, I'll be ready," he said.
In other news and notes:
*The Tigers kept the ball on the ground the entire first quarter with the exception of one pass, a 10-yard completion from Marshall to Marcus Davis. Auburn rushed 18 times for 186 yards in the quarter, scoring on runs of eight yards by Tre Mason, 43 yards by Corey Grant and 10 yards by Marshall, who led the Tigers in rushing during the quarter with 81 yards on only five carries before leaving the game with a shoulder injury early in the second quarter.
*Sammie Coates had two touchdown receptions in a game for the first time it is the first time an Auburn player has done so since Philip Lutzenkirchen versus Ole Miss in 2011. This is Coates' third career 100-yard receiving game, and his second in a row. The last Auburn receiver to record 100-yard games back to back was Emory Blake vs. Virginia 2011 and Clemson 2012
*C.J. Uzomah's 17-yard reception from Johnson in the second quarter was his first catch since pulling in the winning score from Marshall with 10 seconds to play in Auburn's 24-20 win over Mississippi State in the third game of the season. Uzomah added a 16-yard catch from Johnson late in the second quarter. He's finally back to full speed after a calf muscle injury.
*Auburn had scored in 17 straight quarters, going back to the opening quarter against LSU, which was the Tigers' fourth game of the season, before failing to score in the fourth quarter against FAU.
*This was Auburn's third consecutive game with 300 rushing yards, and the fourth of the season and the Tigers second game with 400 rushing after picking up 422 against FAU. The last time Auburn rushed for over 400 yards at least two times in a season was in 1985 when it did it three times.
*Ten different players had a carry on the night for Auburn, but there wasn't a 100-yard rusher. Cameron Artis-Payne fell just short with 93 yards on 13 carries.
*Auburn's 628 yards of total offense marks the third time that Auburn has gained over 600 yards in a game this season. Never before has Auburn had three 600-yard total offense games in a season. The 2013 team now has three of the top 12 total offensive games in Auburn history: (1st) 712 vs. Western Carolina; (tie for seventh) 628 vs. Florida Atlantic; and (12th) 615 vs. Texas A&M.
*Auburn currently has 4,088 yards of total offense, surpassing the 2012 season mark (3,660).