Carlson's 6 field goals lift Auburn past No. 18 LSU 18-13
Daniel Carlson kicked six field goals and Auburn beat No. 18 LSU 18-13 on Saturday night after officials ruled Danny Etling's apparent last-gasp scoring pass came after time expired.
Etling rolled to his right and found D.J. Shark in the back of the end zone on a 15-yard pass, setting off a celebration by LSU players. Officials ruled time expired before Etling took the snap.
"I don't know if I've ever come as close to winning a game and finishing second as today," LSU coach Les Miles said.
The celebration shifted to the Auburn sideline when officials announced the decisive ruling.
It was an important win for Auburn (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and coach Gus Malzahn, who faced increased criticism following losses to Top 25 opponents Clemson and Texas A&M.
An illegal shift penalty against LSU (2-2, 1-1) left the Tigers with a fourth-down play from the 15. There was only 1 second on the clock before officials huddled, and Miles said officials put 3 seconds on the clock, setting up the final-play drama.
Malzahn said he knew the clock expired before the snap.
"I was pretty confident time had expired," Malzahn said. "It was just a matter of going to the booth and confirming it."
Malzahn gave play-calling responsibility to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and also sported a new look, shedding his visor for a white Auburn baseball cap - thanks to fashion advice from his concerned daughters.
"My daughters said something about me wearing a visor and I need to put on a hat because I'm getting bald," he said. "I saw a replay and it looked pretty bad so that's the reason I'm going to wear a hat."
Carlson kicked a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to give Auburn a 15-13 lead. He added to the lead with a 29-yarder with less than 3 minutes remaining before LSU began its desperate, final drive.
Auburn linebacker Tre Williams was ejected for targeting in the second quarter.
There was no flag after Williams' helmet-to-helmet hit knocked quarterback Danny Etling out of the game for a play. The hit sent Etling's helmet to the ground and left him with a cut.
A review by the officials determined Williams led with the crown of his helmet on the hit.
LSU: The LSU offense must improve if the Tigers are to realize their preseason expectations. LSU was held to 338 yards, including 118 yards passing by Etling.
Auburn: Defense continues to be Auburn's strength, but struggles by the offense drew sporadic boos from impatient fans throughout the game. Improvements will be needed; it will be difficult to pull off more SEC wins without reaching the end zone.
With the loss to unranked Auburn, LSU could fall out of the Top 25 with its second loss in four games. The Tigers were No. 5 when they lost to Wisconsin in their opener.
LSU: The Tigers will face another SEC Western Division rival when they play Missouri in a home game next Saturday night. It will be only the second meeting between the teams and the first as SEC rivals. In the only other meeting, Missouri won 20-15 in the 1978 Liberty Bowl.
Auburn: Auburn will take a break from its SEC schedule when it tries for its 10th straight win over Louisiana-Monroe. It will be the last of five straight home games for the Tigers.