Anders Carlson’s two made field goals in the Citrus Bowl, including a 50-yarder, didn’t factor much into the outcome. But they did contribute to another record in the family’s impressive and still-growing collection.
The junior Auburn place-kicker now has 275 career points, which places him ahead of legendary running back Bo Jackson for fifth-most in program history. Add that to older brother Daniel’s program-leading 480, and the Carlsons are the most prolific brother kicking duo at the same school in college football history at 755 points, which put them ahead of Nebraska’s Kris and Drew Brown (743).
Daniel Carlson set another record two days later when he hit a field goal and three extra points in the Las Vegas Raiders’ Week 17 win over the Denver Broncos. The effort gave him 144 points on the season, which tied him for the NFL lead this season — with Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins kickers Younghoe Koo and Jason Sanders, respectively — and gave him a new franchise record, passing Sebastian Janikowski.
The elder Carlson finished his third season as a pro 33 of 35 on field goal attempts and 45 of 47 on point after tries. He’s become one of the better place-kickers in the NFL since the Minnesota Vikings unceremoniously cut him just two games after selecting him in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The younger Carlson also just put together the best season of his career at Auburn, making 20 of 22 field goal attempts. That’s a 90.9 percent conversion rate, which is the second-highest mark in program history behind Wes Byrum’s 93.8 percent mark in 2009. Daniel Carlson made 87.5 percent of his field goals during his most accurate season in 2016.
It marks a continued ascent for Anders Carlson, who entered this season with a stated goal to “be the best kicker in college football” and has an argument for it — his 20 makes rank second nationally, and his make percentage sixth among kickers with at least 10 attempts.
He made 15 of 25 field goal attempts in 2018, then 18 of 25 last season. In 2020, he missed only twice — once in rainy conditions against Arkansas and again from 56 yards against Alabama in the Iron Bowl. And Carlson made the game-winning kick in the closing seconds in that game against the Razorbacks, which is one of the few things his older brother never did during his illustrious college career.
“I think I try to bring a strong mentality knowing that I’ve done it before,” Carlson said after that game. “And so, I think, coming from last year, coming from the entire break, with COVID and everything, got extra work in there, I was on a roll. And I’m keeping going on a roll. And you know, I’m just trying to do my job.”
He did it well enough that he was named the first-team All-SEC place-kicker by the Associated Press, something his older brother did three times during his career.
About the only thing the Carlsons haven’t done is win a Lou Groza Award, which is given annually to the best place-kicker in college football. Daniel Carlson was one of three finalists three times. Anders Carlson was one of 20 semifinalists this season.
The latter has up to two seasons of eligibility remaining at Auburn, should he choose to use them. Maybe he’ll be able to add one of those to the Carlson trophy case back home in Colorado Springs, Colo.