Image credit: Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina
Kick Coverage, Week 4
After UCONN’s Michael Tarbutt missed a would-be game-tying field goal at the end of Monday’s make up game against East Carolina, Huskies linebacker Junior Joseph said to the media, “As soon as I leave this building, I will forget about the game.”
While his point was more that the team shouldn’t dwell on the loss, forgetting is a luxury that doesn’t always come easy to kickers—just ask South Carolina’s Parker White. The walk-on’s performance has been heavily scrutinized this year, especially after he missed twice in the first half during Saturday’s scrap with Louisiana Tech. Entering the fourth quarter, he had yet to make a field goal on the year (0/4).
When he was called upon to try a 21-yard chip shot that would put the Cocks up one with just seconds left, White had not only the kick to face, but his memory.
“It’s tough. We don’t have the Men in Black little thing to erase our memory. It’s going to be in the back of your head. You just have to do your best to forget. I had people come up to me on the sideline after the second kick just telling me to forget about it.”
Whether it was the pep talks or someone did actually neuralyze him, it worked:
Kicker of the Week:
Trevor Moore, North Texas – 4/4 FG: 29, 40, 45, 22 (GW); 4/4 XPs
Four kickers this week went 4/4 or better on field goals, but the only one whose contributions didn’t come in a blowout were Trevor Moore’s of North Texas. The senior from Edmond, Oklahoma hit 40 and 45-yarders early in the fourth quarter that helped give the Mean Green a 14-point lead. After UAB surged back to tie the game with 0:27 remaining, a solid UNT kick return and then a 34-yard rush put Moore in position to win the game from what would amount to not much more than a PAT. Conveniently, Moore has hit every single extra point in his career (116/116), and he showed that consistency one more time by hitting this 22-yarder for the eventual win:
A four-year starter, Moore is 6 for 7 on the year after hitting between 64-69% of his attempts the past two seasons. Prior to arriving in Denton, Moore was first-team All-Oklahoma his senior year of high school and ranked No. 21 in Kohl’s Kicking Camps Class of 2014.
1) I might as well just reserve this space as the Matt Gay tracker. The nation’s current leader in nearly every field goal kicking category continued his amazing maiden season by going 3/3 (41, 26, 37) in Utah’s 30-24 win over Arizona on Friday night.
The former Olympic development soccer player has 56 points on the year, which already puts him nearly halfway to the single-season school record of 122 by Louie Sakoda in 2008.
2) The latest school to have fallen into a kicker-by-committee situation is Texas Tech. After preseason All-Big 12 selection Clayton Hatfield was reduced to taking only PATs due to a hip injury, junior Michael Barden and freshman Michael Ewton were put on field goal duty. Barden is 2/2 with a long of 47 over the past two weeks while Ewton went 1/3 on Saturday, missing from 31 and 33 in Tech’s 27-24 win over Houston.
Given the range and accuracy Barden has already displayed (albeit in a small sample size), it’s interesting then that head coach Kliff Kingsbury seems content on continuing with the two-kicker system: “We have two guys, and we have confidence in both,” Kingsbury said in his post-game comments. “Obviously, Ewton missed a couple that we’ve got to be able to make, but Barden’s struck the ball well, so we’ll see moving forward if that’s going to be his job or not. We’ll continue to have them compete, and hopefully we can feel comfortable with the combination of both at some point.”
3) Down in FCS, Northern Colorado’s Collin Root is having a hell of a year. Already the owner of a 56-yard make (which would tie for longest this season in FBS) earlier this year and at least one in high school, Root further padded his mom’s scrapbook with this game-winning 37 yarder against Idaho State:
— Big Sky Football (@BigSkyFB) September 23, 2017
A redshirt sophomore, Root was previously a walk-on at Wyoming.
Doink of the Week:
Just when we thought Week 4 was going have even more kicker heroics, sophomore Michael Tarbutt pushed his potential game-tying 33 yarder wide right as time expired on Monday afternoon.
Tarbitt broke down his miss after the game, citing faulty mechanics:
“My plant got a bit close. It forced me to kind of keep my hips closed, and I just pushed the ball.”
Way-Too-Early Groza Predictions:
Much like the past few weeks, we are still without a clear third finalist. Gay is still unquestionably the favorite and I feel pretty comfortable keeping Nordin locked into the #2 spot even though his field goal kicking foot remained idle this past weekend.
Whereas in the past few weeks no one seemed worthy of the third finalist spot, way too many do this week. Toledo’s Jameson Vest added a 49-yarder to his previously short, but still 11/12 resume; Emilio Nadelman’s big day make him and his 8/9 tally hard to ignore (even though his longest is ‘only’ 44); and Cole Murphy is quietly having a 8/9 year with three from 40-49 up at Syracuse.
But because the Groza panelists probably aren’t completely rational actors, if the season ended today I still think they’d send pre-season favorite Daniel Carlson to Palm Beach for the third consecutive year. That’s not to say the senior doesn’t deserve it–in a 3/3 day on Saturday, Carlson was successful from 52 and 54 yards out, making him 8/11 overall and 3/4 from 50+ on the year.
- Matt Gay, Utah (14/14 FGs, 2/2 from 50+, 14/14 XPs)
- Quinn Nordin, Michigan (11/13 FGs, 2/3 from 50+, 13/13 XPs)
- Daniel Carlson, Auburn (8/11 FGs, 3/4 from 50+, 14/14 XPs)
Long Ball Leaderboard Through Week 4:
Twenty-seven made field goals this year have come from 50 or longer. Nearly 40% of those came this past weekend. I’d say everyone is beginning to find their groove.
|1||Matt Gay||Utah||56||3, San Jose St.|
|T2||Alex Kessman||Pittsburgh||55||4, at Georgia Tech|
|Quinn Nordin||Michigan||55||1, Florida|
|T4||Daniel Carlson||Auburn||54||4, at Missouri|
|Greg Joseph||Florida Atlantic||54||1, Navy|
|T6||Matt Ammendola||Oklahoma St.||53||2, at So. Alabama|
|Bryce Crawford||San Jose St.||53||4, Utah State|
|Matthew McCrane||Kansas State||53||1, Central Arkansas|
|Jason Sanders||New Mexico||53||4, at Tulsa|
|Brady Viles||UTEP||53||3, Arizona|
|T11||Jonathan Barnes||Louisiana Tech||52||4, at South Carolina|
|Aaron Boumheri||Temple||52||3, UMASS|
|Daniel Carlson||Auburn||52||4, at Missouri|
|Dominik Eberle||Utah State||52||4, at San Jose St.|
|Evan Rabon||Coastal Carolina||52||4, Western Illinois|
|Brandon Ruiz||Arizona St.||52||1, New Mexico St.|
|T17||Brent Cimaglia||Tennessee||51||3, at Florida|
|Bryce Crawford||San Jose St.||51||3, at Utah|
|Griffin Oakes||Indiana||51||2, at Virginia|
|T20||Michael Badgley||Miami (FL)||50||1, Bethune-Cookman|
|Daniel Carlson||Auburn||50||1, Georgia Southern|
|Matt Gay||Utah||50||3, San Jose St.|
|Redford Jones||Tulsa||50||4, New Mexico|
|Austin MacGinnis||Kentucky||50||4, Florida|
|Quinn Nordin||Michigan||50||1, Florida|
|Joey Slye||Virginia Tech||50||2, Delaware|
|Luke Strebel||Air Force||50||3, at Michigan|
Kicker Survivor Leaderboard Through Week 4:
And then there were 30. Thirteen more kickers missed an FGA this weekend, some on their first attempt of the year. While Matt Gay’s streak looked untouchable as recently as last week, a miss soon from him and more big days from Mike Weaver and Dominik Eberle (like they had this past weekend) would put them in sound position to challenge the current leader.
Eliminated this week (school, streak): Colton Lichtenberg (Boston College, 6); Michael Rubino (App. State, 5); Louie Zervos (Ohio, 5); Samuel Sloman (Miami OH, 4); Miguel Recinos (Iowa, 3); Connor Martin (Baylor, 2); Tom O’Leary (Akron, 2); Henry Darmstadter (Maryland, 1); Michael Ewton (Texas Tech, 1); Calvin Linden (Louisiana-Lafayette, 0); Evan Legassey (Troy, 0); Daniel Gutierrez (UNLV, 0); Lucas Havrisik (Arizona, 0).
|8||Mike Weaver||Wake Forest|
|8||Dominik Eberle||Utah St.|
|7||Sean Nuernberger||Ohio St.|
|6||Wyatt Bryan||Colorado St.|
|5||Bryce Crawford||San Jose St.|
|4||Haden Hoggarth||Boise St.|
|4||Jace Christmann||Mississippi St.|
|4||Greg Joseph||Florida Atlantic|
|3||Michael Badgley||Miami (FL)|
|2||Dylan Brown||New Mexico St.|
|2||Michael Barden||Texas Tech|
|1||Matt Coghlin||Michigan St.|
|1||Craig Ford||La Monroe|
|1||Michael Smith||Utah St.|
Game Winners (Under 1:00 to play) :
In addition to the two mentioned above, there was a third FBS late game-winner came on Saturday. A a 53-yarder by New Mexico’s Jason Sanders, it was by far the longest winner on the year thus far:
Sanders is having as great a run as almost any kicker in the country, making 18 of his last 20 between 2017 and 2016. The game-winner against Tulsa was his career long.
An ongoing list of the season’s de facto game winners can be found on the season hub page.
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