University of Missouri

Special teams had big impact on Missouri, Auburn seasons

Breakdown: Special teams

Each day leading up to the SEC championship on Saturday, The Star will break down a key statistic regarding the Tigers of Missouri and the Tigers of Auburn.

Let’s talk special teams, which produced snapshot moments for Auburn and Missouri and could factor prominently on Saturday.

Chris Davis, of course, authored one of the most memorable plays in college football history with his 109-yard field goal return to beat Alabama. Davis is among the nation’s top returners. He has returned two punts at least 70 yards this season.

Auburn’s punter, senior Steven Clark, is a Park Hill grad who was superb against the Tide, with two kicks downed at the 1. Opponents have returned only five punts this season against Auburn.

Mizzou has confidence in kicker Andrew Baggett, who booted five field goals against Florida, but doinked a 24-yarder that would have extended the South Carolina game into triple overtime. Still, Missouri would rather not have to settle for field goals in the red zone.

Missouri surrendered a kickoff return for a touchdown against Florida, and Auburn rushing leader Tre Mason averaged 26.3 yards per return.

Rest assured Mizzou will account for a return on a long field-goal attempt.