Washington State QB Connor Halliday says Auburn would be a top five team if it had a good quarterback

Nick Bromberg

While Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday was impressed with Auburn on Saturday night, he wasn't impressed with Nick Marshall.

Auburn beat Washington State 31-24 in Gus Malzahn's first game as head coach of the Tigers. Halliday liked Malzahn's offense, but not the guy who was under center. That would be Marshall.

From the Spokesman-Review:

“They ran the ball real, real, real well,” Halliday said. “If they could find a quarterback, they’d be a top-five team in the nation. They just don’t have a guy who can throw it. That running game was something very, very impressive.”

Marshall finished the game 10-19 for 99 yards. On the flipside -- and the reason for Halliday's praise in that department -- Auburn ran 46 times for 295 yards, including a 75-yard TD run by Corey Grant.

Marshall, who initially went to Georgia to play cornerback before transferring to Garden City Community College to play the position he played in high school, won Auburn's four-way quarterback battle in preseason camp. In August, coach Gus Malzahn raved about his arm strength, boasting Marshall could throw the ball 80 yards.

Though as we've seen over and over again, there's much more to quarterbacking than being able to throw the ball a long way. However, for many Auburn fans, Marshall's performance might have been an upgrade over what they saw last season. In 2012, Auburn's three quarterbacks combined for a 57 percent completion percentage and eight touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

And if those Auburn fans want to get really greedy, they can brag that he's got a higher quarterback rating than AJ McCarron.

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