Oxford, Miss.--Nick Marshall said the second half tempo was what his Auburn football team was looking for as the Tigers scored 21 points after intermission against a defense that had not given up more than 20 points in a game all season.
That was enough to spark the Tigers to a 35-31 SEC football victory over Ole Miss on Saturday night.
“We had to pick our tempo up on the offensive side of the ball,” the quarterback said. “We were able to gas them a couple of times.”
Marshall completed 15-22 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He rushed for two more scores, netting 50 yards on 10 carries.
The senior said the win reminded him of Auburn’s exciting victories when the Tigers made plays late in games last year.
“We put our trust in our coaches and they put their trust in us and that is something we believe,” Marshall said. “At the end of the game we will find a way to win.”
Auburn’s offense finished the night with 507 total yards.
“Coming into this game we knew that Ole Miss was one of the top teams in the country and they were going to give us their best shot,” the quarterback said. “Coach (Gus) Malzahn came out saying in the fourth quarter we were going to find a way to win.
“Then our defense stepped up big for us in the fourth quarter and made big stops and we were able to win the game,” Marshall added.
In other news and notes:
*Safety Derrick Moncrief made his first Auburn start. Moncrief, who transferred from junior college in January, worked with the first unit much of spring training. He said that the coaches told him his performance in practice this past week prompted them to put him in the lineup, noting he thoroughly enjoyed finally getting the opportunity to be in the middle of the action for extended periods of time. “I did some good things, but I could have played better,” said Moncrief, who was in on six tackles.
*Marshall’s 57-yard touchdown pass to Sammie Coates was Marshall’s 12th touchdown pass of the season, the 26th at Auburn and his longest this season. It was the third longest play of the season and extended Coates’ streak to 15 games with at least one catch. He later added another TD pass to Marcus Davis from 17 yards out.
*Sophomore defensive end Gimel President picked up his first college sack in the second quarter. The Tigers finished with four sacks. Angelo Blackson and Montravius Adams had one apiece while Moncrief and Cassanova McKinzy shared a sack.
*AU leads the series 29-10 and improved its record to 10-3 in Oxford.
*Since Gus Malzahn took over as head coach at Auburn in 2013, the Tigers have scored at least 20 points every game, one of just four FBS teams to accomplish that. Prior to giving up 35 points to the Tigers, 20 points by Texas A&M was the highest vs. the Rebels this year.