Part 2, Auburn 23, Vanderbilt 16: News, Notes & Quotes

Comments from an Auburn junior who broke a record plus other news and notes are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--When it comes to producing week-after-week, few have done it as well as Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson. The junior contributed three field goals to Auburn’s 23-16 win over Vanderbilt Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium against a Commodore squad that gave the banged-up Tigers almost more than they could handle.

Carlson’s three field goals gives him the Auburn record of 61 three-pointers, one more than Wes Byrum who played for the Tigers from 2007-10 and kicked the winning field goal in Auburn’s 22-19 win over Oregon in the National Championship Game.

He has made 20 of 22 field goals this season with both misses being blocked, including his fourth-quarter effort against Vanderbilt that would have iced the game in the closing minutes. Vandy’s outstanding linebacker Zach Cunningham timed his leap over the Auburn line and blocked the kick in a remarkable effort.

“I really didn’t see him coming over the line because I’m always looking at the ball,” Carlson explained. “But I have seen that on a couple or pro games so I know it happens.”

Carlson’s field goals against Vandy were from 45, 53 and 33 yards.

Only a junior, Carlson is well aware of the history of outstanding Auburn kickers that he is now among. “It’s big, obviously,” he admitted. “Auburn is known for having a lot of great kickers. So, hopefully I can continue to keep making kicks. It means I’ve been busy, so hopefully I can keep making those when the team needs me.”

Carlson also remained perfect for his career on extra-point tries. He was two-for-two against the Commodores and is now 132-for-132 in his career. His 53-yard field goal in the third quarter was his third this season and eighth of his career from 50-plus yards. He is one of two Auburn kickers to have at least three career field goals of 53 yards or longer. The other is Neil O’Donoghue who played from 1973-76.

With 11 points (3 FG, 2 PAT) Saturday, Carlson has 321 for his career, which moves him into second all-time at Auburn in career scoring. He passed John Vaughn (312 points, 2003-06) for second. Wes Byrum is the all-time leader with 363 points.

Carlson’s secret to success is consistency and realizing how much he is depended on.

“It’s the same as always,” he?explains. “When the team needs me, I’ve got to execute and do my job. When the coach sends me out there, he expects three points. Luckily, I have been able to that most of the time. I take my job seriously. Those points can add up, especially in a close game.”

In other news and notes:

*Auburn improved to 9-0 all-time against Vanderbilt at home. The all-time series is now tied 21-21-1, dating back to 1893.

*Auburn has held eight of its last 10 opponents under 20 points, dating back to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis.

*Auburn’s defense has allowed just 14 touchdowns in the last nine games and have held nine straight opponents below their season scoring average.

*Gus Malzahn improved to 17-8 in one-score games as Auburn’s head coach.

*Auburn has held six straight opponents without a rushing touchdown.

*The Tigers are 28-8 under Malzahn when rushing for 200 or more yards.

*With Kamryn Pettway surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark against Vandy, Auburn has had a 1,000-yard rusher for nine straight seasons. Auburn is one of three schools nation-wide along with Oregon and Boise State that have had at least one 1,000-yard rusher at least seven straight seasons. 

*In Malzahn’s seven seasons at Auburn (as head coach and offensive coordinator), the Tigers have had nine 1,000-yard rushers.

*Auburn totaled five passes broken up in the game to bring its total to 51 for the season. Auburn ranked third nationally before facing the Commodores.

*Quarterback John Franklin and linebacker Montavious Atkinson were first-time starters for Auburn. The Tigers have had 13 first-time starters this season, eight on offense and five on defense.

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