Christopher Smith

Auburn QB Marshall To Return vs. Texas A&M

Created on Oct. 16, 2013 3:18 PM EST

Auburn's freshman quarterback Nick Marshall (knee) will play against Texas A&M on Saturday after missing last weekend's game against Western Carolina.

Marshall, who injured his right knee in an upset win against Ole Miss, was available in case of emergency against the Catamounts and returned to practice Sunday night.

Marshall looked good in practice, coach Gus Malzhan and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee told

"Him taking this week off to heal up, we really needed him to heal," running back Tre Mason said. "He's a great athlete. He's somebody we need going into this game to make his plays."

Saturday's 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff in College Station, Texas, has become an important game in the SEC West. At 5-1, with its only loss at LSU, Auburn snuck into the Top 25 this week, landing at No. 24 in the AP poll.

In three SEC games, the Aggies (5-1) have allowed 42, 33 and 38 points. It makes sense Auburn rested Marshall against Western Carolina if he was less than 100 percent (the Tigers won, 62-3, with Jeremy Johnson at quarterback). The Tigers will need all the offense they can muster to keep pace with the nation's No. 4 scoring offense.

Marshall completes 59.2 percent of his passes and has as many interceptions as touchdowns (four), but he also has rushed for 288 yards (5.2 per carry) and caught a 37-yard pass. Auburn has a strong running game, led by Mason, and Marshall forces one of the worst rush defenses in the NCAA to account for an extra threat.

Auburn currently is a 13.5-point underdog at the Las Vegas Hilton.

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