FAYETTEVILLE -- Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn announced Friday that quarterback Nick Marshall will not start but will play in the Tigers' season opener against Arkansas on Aug. 30.
Malzahn, in his first news conference of fall camp, also said cornerback Jonathan Mincy would not start against the Razorbacks.
Asked how long the two might sit in the 3 p.m. opener at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., Malzahn told reporters he wasn't ready to say yet.
"I will say this," Malzahn told reporters. "Nick Marshall is still our quarterback. Jonathon Mincy is still our cornerback. But that's part of their punishment."
Marshall worked with the starters Friday during the portion of the practice that was open to members of the media.
The senior was cited July 11 for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in Reynolds, Ga., an incident that knocked him out of appearing at SEC media days the following week. Last week, Marshall's mother paid his fines, which totaled roughly $1,100, and the case is considered closed.
Mincy was arrested in June and charged with second-degree possession of marijuana after the car he was driving near Abbeville, Ala., was stopped for speeding.
Marshall passed for 1,976 yards and ran for 1,068 yards last season, when he accounted for 26 touchdowns and led the Tigers to the SEC title and into the BCS Championship Game, where they lost to Florida State. He was the media's preseason pick for first-team All-SEC quarterback and is projected by some as a Heisman Trophy contender.
Marshall is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by 6-5 sophomore Jeremy Johnson. It will be Johnson's second career start and his first against an SEC opponent.
Malzahn said he and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee had planned all along to give Johnson a bigger role this season. Johnson has completed 71 percent of his passes for 422 yards and 6 touchdowns with 2 interceptions.
"We're still going to keep on doing what we're doing. We're not going to stop for anybody," wide receiver Ricardo Louis said. "Whether [Marshall] is here or not, we're still going to be together as a team and try to win the games."
It will mark Auburn's eighth different starting quarterback in the past eight years.
Malzahn also announced that back surgery will sideline starting guard Alex Kozan, a second-team All-SEC preseason pick by the media, for the entire season.
Arkansas is 4-2 in its past six games against Auburn, losing only in seasons in which the Tigers won the SEC and played in the BCS Championship Game. The Razorbacks won two games at Auburn -- 25-22 in 2008 and 24-7 in 2012 -- in that span.
Sports on 08/02/2014
Print Headline: Malzahn: Marshall won’t start