AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall and cornerback Jonathon Mincy won't start in the Tigers' opener against Arkansas, while starting guard Alex Kozan is out for the season.
Coach Gus Malzahn made those announcements Friday after the defending Southeastern Conference champions finished their first practice of preseason camp. He didn't say how long Marshall or Mincy will remain on the bench against the Razorbacks on Aug. 30.
Marshall was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and a window tint violation during a July 11 traffic stop in Georgia. His mother paid the $1,100 in fines.
Mincy, who has 29 career starts, was arrested and charged with second-degree possession of marijuana in June.
"I've decided that they will not start Game 1 as part of their punishment," Malzahn said. "I will say this: Nick Marshall is still our quarterback. Jonathon Mincy is still our cornerback but that's part of their punishment."
That means sophomore Jeremy Johnson will start his second career game and first against an SEC opponent. Malzahn said he and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee had planned all along to give Johnson a bigger role, but that Marshall remains the starter. The senior worked with the first-team offense during the portion of practice open to the media.
Malzahn wouldn't elaborate on the players' punishment beyond losing the opening game start.
"That's part of the punishment," he said. "The rest is between us."
Marshall led the Tigers into the national championship game in his first season after transferring from junior college. He passed for 1,976 yards and ran for 1,068, accounting for 26 touchdowns while helping turn the zone read into Auburn's signature play.
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