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‘Punt, Bama, Punt’ legend David Langner dead at age 62

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David Langner, Auburn’s hero in the famous “Punt, Bama, Punt” game against Alabama, has died after battling cancer. Langner was 62 years old.

Decades before Chris Davis returned a missed field goal attempt for a touchdown to clinch the SEC West on the final play of the game, it was Langner who authored one of the most improbable victories in Auburn history. In the fourth quarter of the 1972 Iron Bowl against Alabama, Langner returned two blocked punts for touchdowns as the Tigers stunned the Crimson Tide, 17-16.

“David Langner was one of Auburn’s greats who will be remembered by generations to come,” said Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs, according to Auburn. “He was a fierce competitor who fought cancer as hard as he fought any opponent he faced. I know the entire Auburn family joins me in offering our sympathy and prayers to his family.”

Langnard got into the car business after his playing days and retired just last year, according to the Opelika-Auburn News.

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2 Responses to “‘Punt, Bama, Punt’ legend David Langner dead at age 62”
  1. Professor Fate says: Apr 27, 2014 11:11 AM

    I remember this game (yea, I’m frickin’ old) because Alabama was 10-0 and #2 in the polls. The two-time defending national champion, Nebraska, had opened the season as the #1 pick, but five days later had been upset by UCLA. In the next poll my team, USC, rose to #1 by a slim margin over Colorado.

    By the time this game rolled around on December 2 the Trojans had finished their season 11-0 and Alabama was preparing to do the same. The Tide had a 16-point lead over the Tigers making bettors happy that they had so far covered the spread with just 10 minutes left in the game. A field goal by Auburn’s Gardner Jett cut into that lead, but the real fun was soon to come.

    Gary Sanders, Auburn’s radio play-by-play announcer at that game has a website,, that now has both of those blocked punt calls available as an MP3. You can get the second blocked-punt call as a ringtone.

    The final regular season poll was: 1.USC 2.Oklahoma 3.Ohio State 4.Alabama 5.Penn State.

    In ’72 only the Rose Bowl (Pac-8 & Big 10) and Cotton Bowl (SWC winner) had rigid conference tie-ins. Big-8 champ Oklahoma passed up an Orange Bowl invite to meet Penn St. in the Sugar Bowl (14-0 Sooners) while SEC champ ‘Bama passed on the Sugar to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl (14-13 Longhorns).

    The Rose Bowl on January 1, 1973 featured USC hammering Ohio State 42-17, securing an undefeated season and the national championship.

    The final post-bowl poll: 1.USC 2.Oklahoma 3.Texas 4.Nebraska 5.Auburn

  2. dharrison813 says: Apr 27, 2014 7:25 PM

    On behalf of the Langner family let me express our heartfelt thanks for all of the prayers, love, and support. My Uncle David and my father Chuck had the privilege of playing together throughout their lives both on and off the field and touched so many lives in the process. Growing up a Langner I was always regaled with stories of their youth and the trouble they found,everyone seemed to know the Langner boys. Now in this time of sorrow we are again honored by the stories shared by those who knew him and the well wishes of those who didn’t. His memory will forever live on in our hearts.
    God Bless,
    Dawn Langner Harrison

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