Dandy Dansby Performance Leads Pick Parade

Auburn, Ala.--With four interceptions against LSU, Auburn has 15 for the season with junior Karlos Dansby leading the way with three.

The outside linebacker with a knack for making big plays did it twice with interceptions vs. LSU. Throw in two tackles for losses and eight total tackles and those numbers were good enough to earn him SEC Defensive Player Of the Week honors.

With the big day in the 31-7 bashing of SEC West leader LSU, Auburn matched its entire 2001 output of interceptions with four more games left in the regular season starting with an SEC road test at Ole Miss on Saturday. Kickoff is 11:30 a.m. for a game being televised regionally from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Dansby's first interception was one of the best defensive plays of the season for coordinator Gene Chizik's defense. Dansby made the pick at just beyond point-blank range when LSU quarterback Marcus Randall made the mistake of trying to throw the ball over the charging outside linebacker, who is six-foot-four with excellent hands that helped make him an All-State basketball player in high school. Dansby deflected the pass like he was blocking a basketball shot with two hands and then plucked the rebound for an interception.

On his second pick of the day, he lined up behind center and read the quarterback, who tried to throw the ball into the flat to avoid a pair of charging Auburn safeties who were blitzing through the heart of the LSU offensive line. Dansby was waiting for the pass and raced 60 yards to set up a Tiger touchdown that put the finishing touches on the Bayou Bengals.

Karlos Dansby (11) and DeMarco McNeil celebrate Dansby's second interception that was returned 60 yards.

Auburn's other interceptions vs. LSU came from free safeties. Starter Travaris Robinson raced 64 yards with his and backup Donnay Young had a nine yard return.

The victory kept Auburn alive in the SEC West race. The Tigers are 3-2 in league play, a half-game behind 3-1 LSU, which is idle this week while Auburn faces an Ole Miss team that is 2-2 in the conference. Auburn is 5-3 overall.

"We are going to try to win out the rest of the season by taking them one play at a time," says Dansby, who says his team played aggressive football from start to finish in the 31-7 victory over LSU. "That was a big game for us," he says. "It was sweet. Everytime you win in the SEC it is sweet."

The Auburn coaching staff named Dansby its defensive player of the week as well and head coach Tommy Tuberville says it was a well deserved award. He also notes that he is seldom surprised when the outside linebacker makes a big play. "He has a knack for being at the right place at the right time," Tuberville says.

Auburn players have been honored four times by the SEC as the conference player of the week this season. Tailback Carnell Williams won the award twice on offense vs. Vanderbilt and Syracuse while end Reggie Torbor won the defensive honor for his play vs. Mississippi State. The four player of the week awards are the most for the Tigers since winning five in 1994.

Tuberville says that Dansby and the Tigers will be busy this Saturday on their road trip to Ole Miss, where they will face one of the top quarterbacks in the country in junior Eli Manning. "I am sure they will see 40 or 50 passes," Tuberville predicts.

After practicing on Sunday, the Tigers took the day off on Monday and will practice Tuesday through Thursday before making their fourth road trip of the season to face an Ole Miss team that is 5-3 overall.

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