Austin Golson (above) is a redshirt junior for the Tigers.
Auburn, Ala.--Austin Golson was back in a familiar place Saturday in Auburn's 58-7 Homecoming football victory over the University of Louisiana Monroe. With starting center Xavier Dampeer nursing a high ankle sprain, Golson moved from left tackle to center where he started 13 games for the Tigers in 2015.
Moving into the left tackle spot was junior Darius James, a transfer from the University of Texas--much like Golson who transferred to Auburn from Ole Miss three years ago.
His move to center wasn’t certain. It depended on how Dampeer responded to treatment.
“I worked some this week at practice and it was kind of a game-time deal,” Golson said. “I really knew yesterday (Friday) and I really enjoyed it, it was fun. I’m just going to keep moving forward. I just want to do what’s best for the team, that’s what I’m here for. I want to win and do whatever is best for the team, and whatever that may be I’ll be happy to give it my all.”
Golson saw a lot of looks, but believed he performed well.
“They gave a lot of stuff defensively, they brought a lot of different blitzes,” he pointed out. “I feel comfortable that I made all the calls. Obviously, I have some stuff I need to clean up getting back to center, and really just pick up where I left off.”
The Tigers played hard for 60 minutes against an out-manned ULM squad.
“We want to play to make Auburn better so no matter what the score is we look at it as 0-0 and a chance and opportunity for us to get better,” Golson explained. “We have a lot of momentum, and I just feel like this team has something good in store and I just can’t wait to see what happens next.”
In other news and notes:
*The win over ULM was the 30th for Gus Malzahn as Auburn’s head coach. He is the eighth coach in Auburn history to win at least 30 games as a head coach.
*Auburn has held four of five opponents in 2016 and five of its last six under 20 points (dating back to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl versus Memphis).
*Auburn’s 688 yards of total offense are the fourth-most in school history. Two of the top four totals in team history have come in 2016 (706 versus Arkansas State was second. The record is 712 against Western Carolina in 2013).
*The Tigers’ 28 points in the third quarter were the most in a quarter since scoring 28 in the second quarter versus Tennessee in 2013.
*Auburn’s defense held ULM to 251 yards, the lowest by an Auburn opponent this season and the eighth time under Malzahn to hold an opponent under 300 yards.
*The safety in the fourth quarter recorded by walk-on redshirt freshman was Auburn’s first since the 2012 Alabama A&M game. He is the son of Gary Walker, who was a standout defensive lineman and former NFL player. He lettered for the Tigers in 1993 and 1994.
*Auburn produced nine plays that covered more than 20 yards (five passing, three rush and one punt return).
*The Tigers had 36 first downs, the most since 2002 versus Western Carolina (37) and three shy of the school record.
*Auburn’s 83-yard scoring drive (four plays) in the first quarter was the longest of the year to that point. The previous long was 82 yards on 10 plays against Arkansas State. That was then topped by the 88-yard scoring drive (seven plays) in the third quarter.
*Auburn had a 100-yard rusher (Kerryon Johnson, 146 yards) and a 100-yard receiver (Tony Stevens, 109 yards) in the same game for the first time since Ole Miss in 2014 (Cameron Artis-Payne, 143 rush, and D’haquille Williams, 122 receiving)
*Marcus Davis’ 25-yard punt return in the first quarter was the longest of the season for Auburn.
*With eight extra points, Daniel Carlson now has 112 career extra points, passing John Vaughn (2004-06, 110) for third on Auburn’s all-time consecutive PAT list. He also passed Al Del Greco for fifth on the career PATs made list. Carlson now has 272 points kicking (53-64 FG, 113-113 PAT) during his three-year career, third all-time among kickers.
*Carlson now has 278 overall points scored, third in Auburn history, passing Bo Jackson (274 points from 1982-85) and Carnell Williams (276 points from 2001-04).
*Auburn did not punt for the second time this season. That was also the case vs. Arkansas State.
*2016 Homecoming Queen candidates were: Leah Botany, Birmingham, Science and Math; Kelsey Cuyan, Merritt Island, Fla., Human Sciences; Kate Hardman, Birmingham, Nursing; Maggie Smith, Atlanta, Human Sciences; and Victoria Starks, Auburn, Human Sciences. Victoria Starks is the daughter of the late Virgil Starks, who was Associate Athletic Director for Academics when he died several years ago. Hardman selected Miss Homecoming.