Gus Malzahn says quarterback Nick Marshall won't start Auburn's opener

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2013 file photo, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Auburn, Ala. Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation. Reynolds, Georgia police chief Lonnie Holder said Thursday, July 24, 2014, that Marshall's mother, Shalina Cliett, paid the $1,100 in fines. (AP Photo/Jay Sailors, File)

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced Friday that senior quarterback Nick Marshall will not start in the team’s season opener, but he will play.

According to, sophomore Jeremy Johnson will start in Marshall’s place when the defending SEC champions take on SEC West foe Arkansas on August 30. Malzahn did not specify how long Marshall would sit out, but he made it clear that Marshall is still the team’s No. 1 quarterback.

Marshall, who is entering his second season with the Tigers, was cited for marijuana possession on July 11 in Reynolds, Ga., after being pulled over for having an illegal tint on the windows of his car. After being pulled over, officers found “8-9 grams” of marijuana in the vehicle. The fine for Marshall’s citation – nearly $1,000 – was later paid by his mother, closing the case.

Marshall was originally scheduled to appear at SEC Media Days, but Malzahn did not allow him to represent the university following his citation.

In addition to Marshall, Malzahn also announced that defensive back Jonathon Mincy won’t start against Arkansas. Mincy, a senior who started every game for the Tigers last season, was arrested for marijuana possession in late June.

“Nick Marshall is still our quarterback, Jonathon Mincy is still our cornerback, but that’s part of their punishment,” Malzahn said. “I’m not ready to say (the extent of their punishment), all I can say right now is they’re not going to start.”

Malzahn said the two players will face additional punishment from the program, but did not provide specifics.

“The rest is between us,” he said.

Marshall threw for 1,976 yards and 14 touchdowns, while also running for 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns last season while leading the Tigers to a 12-2 record and a BCS National Championship Game appearance. He started his career at Georgia, but was dismissed in February 2012 following a violation of team rules. He then played a season at Garden City Community College prior to enrolling at Auburn last June.

Mincy made 56 tackles and registered one interception in 2013. In his Auburn career, he has started 29 total games in three seasons.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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