Daniel Carlson watches a field goal try fly for Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Now that his career-best 56-yarder is in the books, now that he's hit the third-longest field goal in Auburn history, Daniel Carlson can dream of bigger things.
A 60-yard field goal? Maybe take that 70-yarder he said he kicked in practice to a Saturday afternoon in Jordan-Hare?
Daniel Carlson, your Southeastern Conference special teams player of the week, says he'll leave that up to coach Gus Malzahn.
"I think I'm giving him a little faith, maybe a little confidence to put me out there for longer kicks," Carlson said. "We will just see. I feel good from 60 and in, maybe that kick could have gone a little longer than that. It's his call, I trust him."
That 56-yarder helped Auburn beat Louisville 31-24 in the season-opener last Saturday, and it didn't go unnoticed.
"I think," Malzahn said, "it would have been good from 10 more yards."
This Saturday, Auburn opens its home schedule against Jacksonville State at 11 a.m. in a game that the Tigers will formally unveil college football's largest video board. Carlson will be ready, just as he was when he trotted on the field to try the long field goal against Louisville after some decision-making on the sidelines.
"Originally, we decided to punt it," Carlson said. "But we just talked it through and I was ready to roll. Everyone did a good job switching real quick, coming off just in time. I think I proved it to him in practice, and he trusted me in a game, I'm thankful he let me try it. I'm ready to try a couple more."
Carlson said making the field goal was important to get "that first one under my belt again. It was a bonus that it was a longer one." None of Carlson's booming kickoff was returned, either.
"He did a great job on kickoffs," Malzahn said. "That was their strength on special teams."
Carlson is focusing on his field goal and kickoff duties this season after spending last season as the field goal kicker/kickoff man/punter. Carlson hit 18 of 24 field goal tries last season, saw 50 of his 81 kickoff go for touchbacks and averaged 42 yards on 41 punts. Kevin Phillips is Auburn's punter this season.
"It was kind of nice, just being able to relax a little more on the sidelines, not wear out my leg," Carlson said. Being able to focus just on placekicking, and kicking touchbacks and stuff, it was definitely nice. My leg felt a little more fresh."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine