Kick Coverage, Week 3: DOUBLE FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT, WHAT DOES IT MEAN

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Kick Coverage, Week 3

Despite there some superb kicking performances in Week 3, the one who got the most attention was Tyler Hopkins of Texas Lutheran (DIII):

While the play wasn’t explicitly legal, the kick stood (apparently double kicks aren’t reviewable plays, let alone at the DIII level). Expect clarification in the NCAA rulebook to come this offseason—for now, we’ll proactively call it The Hopkins Rule.

My favorite part is that the Belhaven players look so confused by the circumstances of the play, they aren’t sure if protesting is appropriate or not.

Kicker of the Week:

Matt Gay, Utah – 4/4 FG: 21, 56, 50, 20; 6/6 XPs

If there were any lingering doubts about Matt Gay’s ability or range, those were silenced on Saturday. In Utah’s 54-16 win over San Jose State, the former Utah Valley University soccer player hit a 56-yarder from nearly on top of the Utes’ mid-field logo:

The kick was the second-longest in school history (59 yards from a tee, Marv Bateman in 1971) and marks the first time a Utah player has made two 50+ yarders in the same game. It’s also the FBS’ current longest make. Additionally, the senior leads Kicker Nation in points, field goals made (tied), field goal percentage (tied), field goals made from 40+, and field goals made from 50+.

Extra Points:

1) Perhaps the only kicker in America right now as hot as Gay (kicking-wise) remains Michigan’s Quinn Nordin. From five field goals and two extra points, Nordin accrued 17 points on Saturday, or nearly 60% of the Wolverines’ offense during their 29-13 win over Air Force. This is hardly an anomaly for the week, as on the season Nordin has accounted for 42 of UM’s 98 points (42.9%). His 11 field goals made are well on pace to shatter the school record of 25, set by Remy Hamilton in 1994. Before the game, he did this too:

 

2) If this week was supposed to clear up the placekicking situation at Tennesssee, Saturday in the Swamp may have just made things murkier. After going the first two weeks without having to attempt a field goal, head coach Butch Jones tried out both senior Aaron Medley and freshman Brent Cimaglia during the Vols’ heartbreaking loss to Florida. The latter got the call first, making a 51-yarder just before halftime (his first collegiate attempt).

But after missing one from the same distance in the 3rd and one from 47 before that, Medley was called upon for the next two attempts, missing from 44 and making from 27. Based on Jones’ postgame comments, it appears that the two-pronged approach will remain intact for now, with Cimaglia taking the longer attempts and Medley (9/26 from 40+ in his career) taking the chip shots.

3) The effectiveness of icing (kickers, not bros) is oft-debated, but on Saturday it worked for James Franklin and Penn State (nevermind that the Nittany Lions were up 56-0 in the game’s final seconds). After the unconventional timeout, Georgia State’s Brandon Wright missed the 31-yard attempt to preserve the PSU shutout. In Franklin’s defense (sort of), he said his intention wasn’t to try and shake up redshirt sophomore Wright (who was 1/1 on the season up to that point):

WFAN’s Mike Francesca didn’t exactly buy it, calling Franklin a ‘horse’s ass’ and ‘absolute disgrace’, among other compliments.

4) Gary Wunderlich was shut down in the second quarter of Ole Miss’ loss at Cal on Saturday and did not return. Other than that the issue was with his hamstring, there’s been no word on the condition of the senior that went 22/23 on FGs last season. Wunderlich and the Rebels will enjoy a bye this coming weekend.

Doink of the Week:

Walk-on and redshirt freshman Michael Schreiner was thrust into UMASS’ placekicking role earlier than expected this year after junior Mike Caggiano and senior (punter) Logan Laurent both accrued injuries. On Friday night, Schreiner missed from 23, 39, and 32 in the Minutemen’s 29-21 loss to Temple. That makes Schreiner 0/4 for field goals on the year, though a small silver lining is that he’s yet to miss a PAT (13/13).

While coach Mark Whipple said he was ‘surprised’ considering how well Schreiner had been performing in practice, others on the team were more outspoken in their support for the Webster, NY native:

“Schreiner will be good, he’s our guy,” senior linebacker Steve Casali said. “The whole team has Schreiner’s back and he’ll be good. Schreiner is one of the mentally toughest kids I’ve met in my life, so he’ll be fine. He’ll bounce back from this, without a doubt.”

Way-Too-Early Groza Predictions: 

It’s a two-horse race at this early, early point. Eventually, I’d like to go back and see how the Groza pollsters have voted in extremely tight races (if there have been any). At a glance, the award has gone overwhelmingly to those at Power 5 schools which wouldn’t make a difference in the Gay vs. Nordin battle we have going on. However, just twice has an underclassman won the award (FSU freshman Roberto Aguayo in 2013 and Cincinnati sophomore Jonathan Ruffin in 2000), which is why I shuffled the top two for this week. And as fun everyone’s been having with Nordin’s story, Gay’s is arguably even better.

Third place could be any one of about 6-10 kickers all having equally-successful seasons. While I’d like to see a G5 player represent in December, I imagine in such a close case it would be a more-exposed (TV-wise) kicker that gets the panel’s nod:

  1. Matt Gay, Utah (11/11 FGs, 2/2 from 50+, 11/11 XPs)
  2. Quinn Nordin, Michigan (11/13 FGs, 2/3 from 50+, 9/9 XPs)
  3. Matt Ammendola, Oklahoma State (5/7 FGs, 2/3 from 40+, 21/21 XPs)

Long Ball Leaderboard Through Week 3:

After just three weeks, it now takes a 50+ yarder to crack the longest field goal leaderboard. This week we see a couple of new faces/feet, while the new cutoff leaves just Gay and Nordin (who else?) as the only two to occupy two spots.

Gay’s 56-yarder would have finished as the second-longest make last season.

Rk.NameSchoolDistanceWeek, Opp.
1Matt GayUtah563, San Jose St.
2Quinn NordinMichigan551, Florida
3Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic541, Navy
T4Matt AmmendolaOklahoma St.532, at So. Alabama
Matthew McCraneKansas State531, Central Arkansas
Brady VilesUTEP533, Arizona
T7Aaron BoumheriTemple523, UMASS
Brandon RuizArizona St.521, New Mexico St.
T9Brent CimagliaTennessee513, at Florida
Bryce CrawfordSan Jose St.513, at Utah
Griffin OakesIndiana512, at Virginia
T12Michael BadgleyMiami (FL)501, Bethune-Cookman
Daniel CarlsonAuburn501, Georgia Southern
Matt GayUtah503, San Jose St.
Quinn NordinMichigan501, Florida
Joey SlyeVirginia Tech502, Delaware
Luke StrebelAir Force503, at Michigan

Kicker Survivor Leaderboard Through Week 3:

Twenty-four kickers biffed themselves out of Kicker Survivor this weekend by recording their first misses of the season. Remaining with perfect track records on the season is just 34, though nearly half that number only have 1-2 attempts to their name. Like he’s done with his kicking game overall this season, Matt Gay has raised the bar quickly and early, giving himself a comfy lead on the pack even if he were to miss his next attempt.

Eliminated this week (school, streak): John Baron II (SDSU, 6), Josh Williams (SMU, 5), Garrett Owens (Iowa St., 4), Jimmy Camacho (Fresno St., 3), Austin Parker (Duke, 3), Erik Powell (Washington St., 3), Jason Sanders (New Mexico, 3), Drew Brown (Nebraska, 2), Spencer Evans ( Purdue, 2), Trevor Moore (North Texas, 2), Nick Rice (Old Dominion, 2), Luke Strebel (Air Force, 2), Sawyer Williams (Arkansas St., 2), Evan Brown (Coastal Carolina, 2), Will Harrison (Rice, 1), Emilio Nadelman (South Florida, 1), Ryan Nuss (Western Kentucky, 1), Brandon Wright (Georgia St., 1), Aaron Medley (Tennessee, 1), Brent Cimgalia (Tennessee, 1), Chase McGrath (USC, 0), JK Scott (Alabama, 0), Luke Logan (Ole Miss, 0), Parker White (South Carolina, 0).

StreakNameSchool
11Matt GayUtah
6Wyatt BryanColorado St.
6Sean NuernbergerOhio St.
6Colton LichtenbergBoston College
6Mike WeaverWake Forest
5Blanton CrequeLouisville
5Jake SuderBGSU
4Haden HoggarthBoise St.
4Dominik EberleUtah St.
4Samuel SlomanMiami (OH)
4Jet TonerStanford
4Michael RubinoApp. State
4Bryce CrawfordSan Jose St.
3Jace ChristmannMississippi St.
3Spencer PettitNevada
3Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic
3Miguel RecinosIowa
3Nick VogelUAB
3Louie ZervosOhio
2Michael BadgleyMiami (FL)
2Redford JonesTulsa
2Connor MartinBaylor
2Griffin OakesIndiana
2Dylan BrownNew Mexico St.
1Stevie ArtigueLouisiana
1Michael BardenTexas Tech
1Craig FordLa Monroe
1Tom O'LearyArkansas
1Coby NeenanTulane
1Canon RookerMTSU
1Jared SackettUTSA
1Michael SmithUtah St.
1Spencer SmithMemphis
1Brady VilesUTEP

Game Winners (Under 1:00 to play) :

Freshman Chase McGrath did this to Texas in overtime (43 yards):

Not bad for your second career attempt.

At about the same time, Louisiana Tech’s Jonathan Barnes registered the season’s third game winner, all but downing Western Kentucky with this 21-yarder that left just :02 on the clock:

An ongoing list of the season’s de facto game winners can be found on the season hub page.

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Kick Coverage, Week 2: Woo Pig Gloomy

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Kick Coverage, Week 2

Week 2 filled our plates with quite a balanced selection from the kicker buffet: long makes, the season’s first game-winner, and several heart-string pulling moments (both the good and bad kind).

The story of the weekend was what happened down in Fayetteville, in which a 22-year old kicker became a scapegoat for a fanbase’s collective decades of frustration (more on that nonsense below).

Fortunately, the rest of Kickerville represented well with a number of performances that hopefully serve as a sampling of a greater kicking feast to come.

Let me know anything I missed in the comments or on Twitter at @cfbkickerstats.

Kicker of the Week:

Matt Ammendola, Oklahoma State – 3/4 FG: 31, 53, 48; 5/5 XPs

If you happened to tune into the Friday night tilt between Oklahoma State and South Alabama in Mobile, you saw a great kicking performance from Matt Ammendola.

Playing his first full season with FG duties, the redshirt sophomore opened the game’s scoring early in the first with a 31-yard make. That and a 42-yard miss served as a warm up for what was to come, a 53-yard boom from near the left hash to all but close out the half:

Ammendola would then make a 48-yarder in the fourth while also going 5/5 on extra points.

The 53-yarder tied his career-long, set against Central Michigan last season in what was his very first college FGA.

Extra Points:

1) After attempting 0 FGs during the season opener against Ohio State, Indiana’s Griffin Oakes made up for lost time by tallying makes from 51 and 49 yards on Saturday against Virginia. The first of those successful kicks was the 54th of his Hoosier career, giving him sole possession of the school record. It was also the second longest field goal in Oakes’ career.

2) Compared to most of their teammates, many kickers take a pretty roundabout route to getting on scholarship. While some earn theirs during a spring or fall camp ritual, Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship was given his in a private meeting with head coach Kirby Smart last Thursday. There, the redshirt sophomore was told that his wait was finally over. Having been committed to UGA since December of his senior year of high school, Blankenship celebrated the news by hitting a 30-yarder that with 3:13 left that gave the Dawgs the lead and eventual 20-19 win over Notre Dame. Things became even more festive in the post-game celebrations when Smart had Blankenship share his news with the entire locker room:

3) The Longball Leaderboard below would look completely different if kickers from FCS, Div. II, and Div. III schools were included. Three players in FCS have been successful on attempts from 52 yards or longer this season, including a 56-yarder from Northern Colorado’s Collin Root. But the longest kick of the year in any division belongs to Division II Minnesota State’ Mankato’s Casey Bednarski, who drilled this laser-guided 63 yarder on Saturday against Minnesota Crookston:

Bednarski’s bomb established a school and conference record.

Doink of the Week:

Arkansas’ Cole Hedlund had a…bad Saturday, missing from 20 and 23 yards out. While the shorter of the two might be one of the loudest misses on record, the real doinks of the weekend are the Arkansas fans that decided to tweet sub-human things a 22-year old college kid (courtesy to SEC Country for compiling):

No word if clowns like these (there were many more) also tweeted every member on the Hogs’ impotent offense, or on the defense that allowed TCU go 10-for-14 on third downs. While head coach Bret Bielema’s decision to pull the kicker from duty is understandable, the heart still feels for Hedlund. The former Chris Sailer National Placekicker of the year is a perfect 91-91 in his career on extra points, but just 14-24 on field goals. Lefty Connor Limpert is expected to take over the field goal role for the Week 3 showdown with Texas A&M.

Way-Too-Early Groza Predictions: 

I haven’t looked back in enough detail to get an exact idea of what the Groza voting panel seems to like most in their finalist nominations, but I imagine it’s usually some combination of merit within that individual season (with an emphasis on range and consistency), players that would bring interesting storylines to the award, and a ‘lifetime achievement’ factor for upperclassmen that just have good careers, but just haven’t been able to put together a season that gets themselves over the top.

Given those, I imagine if votes were due today the top three might look something like:

  1. Quinn Nordin, Michigan (6/8 FGs, 7/7 XPs, 2x 50+)
  2. Matt Gay, Utah (7/7 FGs, 5/5 Xps, Lng 49)
  3. Matt Ammendola, Oklahoma State (4/6 FGs, 13/13 XPs, Lng 53)

Long Ball Leaderboard Through Week 2:

By next week, the minimum distance to make the list very well may be 50 already. This week, Ammendola and Oakes joined Nordin as the only others to occupy two spots on the leaderboard.

Rk.NameSchoolDistanceWeek, Opp.
1Quinn NordinMichigan551, Florida
2Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic541, Navy
T3Matt AmmendolaOklahoma St.532, at So. Alabama
Matthew McCraneKansas State531, Central Arkansas
5Brandon RuizArizona St.521, New Mexico St.
6Griffin OakesIndiana512, at Virginia
T7Michael BadgleyMiami (FL)501, Bethune-Cookman
Daniel CarlsonAuburn501, Georgia Southern
Quinn NordinMichigan501, Florida
Joey SlyeVirginia Tech502, Delaware
T11Aaron BoumheriTemple492, Villanova
Emmit CarpenterMinnesota492, at Oregon St.
Matt GayUtah491, N. Dakota
Cooper RotheWyoming491, @Iowa
T15Matt AmmendolaOklahoma St.482, at So. Alabama
Daniel LaCameraTexas A&M481, @UCLA

Kicker Survivor Leaderboard Through Week 2:

Of the 128 kickers that have recorded at least one FGA this season, just the 44 below remain perfect (34%). Nordin (Michigan) and Jameson Vest (Toledo) had streaks of four before missing, ranking them ahead of many others but also making winning an impossibility.

StreakNameSchool
7Matt GayUtah
5Wyatt BryanColorado St.
5Blanton CrequeLouisville
5Sean NuernbergerOhio St.
5Jake SuderBGSU
4John Baron IISDSU
4Haden HoggarthBoise St.
3Jimmy CamachoFresno St.
3Dominik EberleUtah St.
4Colton LichtenbergBoston College
3Austin ParkerDuke
3Spencer PettitNevada
3Erik PowellWashington St.
3Jason SandersNew Mexico
3Samuel SlomanMiami (OH)
3Jet TonerStanford
3Mike WeaverWake Forest
2Michael BadgleyMiami (FL)
2Drew BrownNebraska
2Spencer EvansPurdue
2Redford JonesTulsa
2Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic
2Connor MartinBaylor
2Trevor MooreNorth Texas
2Griffin OakesIndiana
2Garrett OwensIowa St.
2Miguel RecinosIowa
2Nick RiceOld Dominion
2Michael RubinoApp. State
2Nick VogelUAB
2Josh WilliamsSMU
2Sawyer WilliamsArkansas St.
1Stevie ArtigueLouisiana
1Dylan BrownNew Mexico St.
1Bryce CrawfordSan Jose St.
1Will HarrisonRice
1Tom O'LearyArkansas
1Emilio NadelmanSouth Florida
1Coby NeenanTulane
1Ryan NussWestern Kentucky
1Michael SmithUtah St.
1Spencer SmithMemphis
1Brandon WrightGeorgia St.
1Louie ZervosOhio

Game Winners (Under 1:00 to play) :

I admittedly wasn’t sure what should qualify as a ‘game winner’, but decided that 1:00 remaining or less was good enough after Temple’s Aaron Boumerhi’s 49-yarder gave the Owls a late lead and eventual win over cross-town rivals Villanova:

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Kick Coverage, Week 1: Heirs Made Apparent, Others Transparent

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Kick Coverage, Week 1

The first real week of the 2017 season was undoubtedly great, the kicking scene included.

At schools like Alabama and Utah, murky kicker situations became clear after de facto audition processes. Elsewhere, freshmen and other first-time starters made strong cases that they might become even better than their decorated predecessors.

Many relative unknown kickers also dazzled, including one that fell several school records on one kick. Conversely, several of the pre-season Groza favorites already have blemishes on their stat-lines already.

But thankfully, there’s still plenty of games to be played (and kicks to be made). And for that, I can’t wait—welcome back, college football.

If I ever miss something cool, let me know in the comments.

Kicker of the Week:

Quinn Nordin, Michigan – 4/6 FG: 55, 50, 30, 25; 3/3 XPs

Nordin, the freshman that Jim Harbaugh famously slept with in January (phrasing?), announced his arrival to college football loud and clear on Saturday against Florida.

After warming up with a 25-yard make on Michigan’s first drive, Harbaugh wasted no time testing his redshirt freshman’s leg on a 55-yarder that literally couldn’t have been any closer of a make:

In the third quarter, Nordin added 30 and 50-yarders to his tally on the day. He then missed on attempts from 52 and 32, but went 3/3 on PATs in the 33-17 win over Florida.

Hitting the two 50+ers marks the first time any Michigan kicker has accomplished the feat, and the greater of the two stands as the season’s longest in the nation so far (see below).

Nordin, who sports a Ricky Vaughn-buzz in honor of his closer role, was a three-star recruit and Rivals’ top-rated kicker in the class of 2016. Before making headlines for Harbaugh’s relentless pursuit of him, Nordin first caught college football’s attention for the 65-yarder he hit at Kornblue Kicking Camp. He is, without a doubt, the extremely early Groza favorite.

Extra Points:

1) No kicker in the nation has bigger shoes to fill than Arizona State’s Brandon Ruiz. In his first game taking over for most recent Lou Groza winner and all-time NCAA field goal leader Zane Gonzalez, Ruiz wasted little time in showing he was more than worthy. After missing on a 56-yarder, the freshman hit a 52-yard bomb that was crucial in the Sun Devils 37-31 escape of New Mexico State:

I don’t know anything about kicking mechanics and don’t pretend to, but I know that Ruiz leaves me mesmerized as to how he generates so much power off what seems like such a short approach.

2) It looks like Andy Gay won the Utah kicker job in a trial by fire during the Ute’s 37-16 win over FCS North Dakota. True freshman Chayden Johnston was trotted out first to try a 45-yarder in the first quarter, which he missed. That prompted Kyle Whittingham to call Gay’s name for the next attempt, a 33-yarder which was successful. Senior Gay got the call twice more on the day, finishing a perfect 3/3 FG (33, 32, 49) and 4/4 XP.

3) Lane Kiffin’s best player in Florida Atlantic’s 42-19 loss to Navy just might have been Greg Joseph. A former walk-on, Joseph broke three school records with a single kick. The 54-yarder he hit in the third was not only the longest in FAU’s history, but also made him the Owls’ all-time leading scorer and field goal kicker. He also made one from 24 to go 2/2 on the day.

Doink of the Week:

Cincinnati senior Andrew Gantz did not have a good start to his 2017 season. Another UC student did, however:

Week 2 Kicker Matchup To Watch: 

Greg Joseph (Florida Atlantic)

6-1, 210 lbs
Senior
Boca Raton, FL

This Season: 2-2 (100%)
Career: 44/63 (69.8%):
Longest make: 54

Tale of the Tape: Four-year starter Joseph already reserved a place in FAU’s record books (see above), now he’ll spend the rest of the season cementing it. Saturday’s 54-yard bomb was a personal best, surpassing the 50-yard mark he set for himself last year against FIU. The former MaxPrep.com All-American and All-State soccer player has improved his FG% steadily the past three seasons (60.4%, 62.9%, 64.7%) and based on the leg he showed in Week 1, a run at All-CUSA honors wouldn’t be out of the question.

VS.

Rafael Gaglianone (Wisconsin)

5-11, 232 lbs
Junior
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Kohl’s Ranking: #5, Class of 2014
ESPN.com, Scout: ***

This Season: 1-1 (100%)
Career: 45/58 (77.5%)
Longest make: 51

Tale of the Tape: Joseph’s Owls will go to Camp Randall to face Rafael Gaglianone’s Wisconsin squad. The Brazillian missed most of last season with a back injury, but not before going 7-8 on field goals (including 4-4 from 40-49). That start looked like a return to form from his freshman year when he tied the UW record with 14 consecutive FGMs, went 19-22 overall (87.5%), including 2-3 from 50+. He hasn’t been called on to try a shot that long in two years now, but wouldn’t be out of the possibility if the UW offense stalls on Saturday in Madison, where the forecast calls for clear skies and calm winds.

Long Ball Leaderboard Through Week 1:

The cut to make the top 15 longest list has risen to 44 yards already. Nordin is not only the only player listed twice, he’s also the only kicker in the country to make two FGs from 40 or further on the season.

Rk.NameSchoolDistanceWeek, Opp.
1Quinn NordinMichigan551, Florida
2Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic541, Navy
3Matthew McCraneKansas State531, Central Arkansas
4Brandon RuizArizona St.521, New Mexico St.
5TMichael BadgleyMiami (FL)501, Bethune-Cookman
5TDaniel CarlsonAuburn501, Georgia Southern
5TQuinn NordinMichigan501, Florida
8TMatt GayUtah491, N. Dakota
8TCooper RotheWyoming491, @Iowa
10Daniel LaCameraTexas A&M481, @UCLA
11Tyler DavisPenn State471, Akron
12Jimmy CamachoFresno St.471, Incarnate Word
13Eddy PineiroFlorida461, Michigan
14Nick VogelUAB451, Alabama A&M
15TRyan NussW. Kentucky441, E. Kentucky
15TEvan PantelsUNLV441, Howard
15TMiguel RecinosIowa44Wyoming
15TMatthew WrightUCF441, FIU

Kicker Survivor Leaderboard Through Week 1:

Lots of big names eliminated already and the winner of the inaugural Kicker Survivor contest may be a complete surprise (especially to the winner themselves, who has no idea this exists).

Of the 106 kickers that have recorded an FGA this season, 50 (47%) have missed at least once already, with the overwhelming majority missing their first attempt of the season. The average distance on eliminating attempts was a respectable 41.72 yards.

StreakNameSchoolWeek EliminatedMissed
4Jameson VestToledo--
4Wyatt BryanColo St.--
4Q̶u̶i̶n̶n̶ ̶N̶o̶r̶d̶i̶n̶Michigan152
3Blanton CrequeLouisville--
3Daniel LaCameraTexas A&M--
3Colton LichtenbergBoston College--
3Matt GayUtah--
3Tristan VizcainoWashington--
2Michael BadgleyMiami (FL)--
2Drew BrownNebraska--
2Jimmy CamachoFresno St.--
2Greg JosephFlorida Atlantic--
2Cole MurphySyracuse--
2Sean NuernbergerOhio St.--
2Gavin PattersonSouth Alabama--
2Spencer PettitNevada--
2James ShermanTexas St.--
2Samuel SlomanMiami (OH)--
2Jet TonerStanford--
2Bratcher UnderwoodTroy--
2Sawyer WilliamsArkansas St.--
2M̶i̶c̶h̶a̶e̶l̶ ̶A̶r̶m̶s̶t̶r̶o̶n̶g̶Central Michigan-46
2C̶h̶r̶i̶s̶t̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶H̶a̶g̶a̶n̶
Northern Illinois-39
2E̶v̶a̶n̶ ̶P̶a̶n̶t̶e̶l̶s̶UNLV-43
2G̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶W̶u̶n̶d̶e̶r̶l̶i̶c̶k̶
Ole Miss-45
1John Baron IISDSU--
1Rodrigo BlankenshipGeorgia--
1Jose BorregalesFIU--
1Bryce CrawfordSJSU--
1Dominik EberleUtah St.--
1Paul FricanoEastern Michigan--
1Rafael GaglianoneWisconsin--
1Haden HoggarthBoise St.--
1Shane HynesKent State--
1Redford JonesTulsa--
1Austin MacGinnisKentucky--
1Connor MartinBaylor--
1Tucker McCannMissouri--
1Mike MolinaWest Virginia--
1J.J. MolsonUCLA--
1Trevor MooreNorth Texas--
1Emilio NadelmanSouth Florida--
1Coby NeenanTulane--
1Ryan NussWestern Kentucky--
1Austin ParkerDuke--
1Erik PowellWashington St.--
1Miguel RecinosIowa--
1Nick RiceOld Dominion--
1Michael RubinoApp. State--
1Gabriel RuiKansas--
1Jason SandersNew Mexico--
1Parker ShaunfieldSouthern Miss--
1Spencer SmithMemphis--
1Jake SuderBGSU--
1Mike WeaverWake Forest--
1Josh WilliamsSMU--
1Blake WilsonArmy--
1Brandon WrightGeorgia St.--
1Kaare VedvikMarshall--
1Nick VogelUAB--
1Louie ZervosOhio--
1M̶a̶t̶t̶ ̶A̶m̶m̶e̶n̶d̶o̶l̶a̶Ok. St.133
1J̶o̶n̶a̶t̶h̶a̶n̶ ̶B̶a̶r̶n̶e̶s̶
Louisiana Tech152
1D̶a̶n̶i̶e̶l̶ ̶C̶a̶r̶l̶s̶o̶n̶
Auburn153
1A̶u̶s̶t̶i̶n̶ ̶J̶o̶n̶e̶s̶Temple136
1F̶r̶e̶e̶m̶a̶n̶ ̶J̶o̶n̶e̶s̶North Carolina145
1C̶h̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶M̶c̶L̶a̶u̶g̶h̶l̶i̶n̶Illinois144
1R̶y̶a̶n̶ ̶M̶e̶k̶s̶e̶l̶l̶Hawaii138
1A̶n̶d̶y̶ ̶P̶a̶p̶p̶a̶n̶a̶s̶t̶o̶s̶Alabama142
1E̶d̶d̶y̶ ̶P̶i̶n̶e̶i̶r̶o̶Florida147
1C̶o̶o̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶R̶o̶t̶h̶e̶Wyoming147
1J̶o̶e̶y̶ ̶S̶l̶y̶e̶
Virginia Tech138
1J̶a̶m̶e̶s̶ ̶S̶t̶e̶f̶a̶n̶o̶u̶Colorado138
1M̶a̶t̶t̶h̶e̶w̶ ̶W̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶
UCF134
0R̶i̶c̶k̶y̶ ̶A̶g̶u̶a̶y̶o̶Florida St.137
0M̶a̶t̶t̶ ̶A̶n̶d̶e̶r̶s̶o̶n̶Cal145
0T̶y̶l̶e̶r̶ ̶B̶a̶s̶s̶Georgia Southern144
0E̶m̶m̶i̶t̶ ̶C̶a̶r̶p̶e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶Minnesota150
0S̶h̶a̶w̶n̶ ̶D̶a̶v̶i̶s̶Tennessee147
0T̶y̶l̶e̶r̶ ̶D̶a̶v̶i̶s̶Penn State139
0T̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ ̶D̶a̶y̶Mississippi St.132
0J̶.̶D̶.̶ ̶D̶e̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶e̶r̶Purdue153
0A̶n̶d̶r̶e̶w̶ ̶G̶a̶n̶t̶z̶Cincinnati126
0J̶o̶s̶h̶ ̶G̶r̶a̶n̶t̶Western Michigan138
0A̶d̶a̶m̶ ̶G̶r̶e̶e̶n̶e̶Maryland131
0M̶o̶r̶g̶a̶n̶ ̶H̶a̶g̶e̶e̶Ball St.154
0A̶n̶d̶r̶e̶w̶ ̶H̶a̶r̶t̶e̶Rutgers147
0S̶t̶e̶r̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶H̶o̶f̶r̶i̶c̶h̶t̶e̶r̶Syracuse151
0C̶h̶a̶y̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶J̶o̶h̶n̶s̶t̶o̶n̶Utah145
0C̶h̶a̶r̶l̶i̶e̶ ̶K̶u̶h̶b̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶Northwestern121
0A̶l̶e̶x̶ ̶K̶e̶s̶s̶m̶a̶n̶Pittsburgh128
0N̶i̶g̶e̶l̶ ̶M̶a̶c̶a̶u̶l̶e̶y̶Charlotte150
0B̶r̶a̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶M̶a̶n̶n̶
Texas A&M143
0M̶a̶t̶t̶h̶e̶w̶ ̶M̶c̶C̶r̶a̶n̶e̶Kansas St.150
0A̶.̶J̶.̶ ̶M̶e̶j̶i̶a̶Virginia143
0A̶d̶a̶m̶ ̶M̶i̶t̶c̶h̶e̶s̶o̶n̶Buffalo140
0B̶e̶n̶n̶e̶t̶t̶ ̶M̶o̶e̶h̶r̶i̶n̶g̶Navy129
0T̶o̶m̶m̶y̶ ̶O̶p̶e̶n̶s̶h̶a̶w̶Vanderbilt131
0J̶o̶s̶h̶u̶a̶ ̶R̶o̶w̶l̶a̶n̶d̶Texas142
0B̶r̶a̶n̶d̶o̶n̶ ̶R̶u̶i̶z̶Arizona St.156
0M̶i̶c̶h̶a̶e̶l̶ ̶S̶c̶h̶r̶e̶i̶n̶e̶r̶UMASS133
0J̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶V̶e̶r̶i̶t̶y̶East Carolina151
0C̶a̶r̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶W̶i̶s̶e̶NC State129
0J̶u̶s̶t̶i̶n̶ ̶Y̶o̶o̶n̶Notre Dame144
0R̶h̶e̶t̶t̶ ̶A̶l̶m̶o̶n̶d̶BYU033
0J̶o̶r̶d̶a̶n̶ ̶C̶h̶o̶u̶k̶a̶i̶r̶Oregon St.052

Game Winners:

Still none in FBS. Ball State’s Morgan Hagee had his 54-yard game-winning attempt blocked as time expired at Illinois, as did Georgia Tech’s Shawn Davis, which led to the Yellow Jackets’ demise in 2OT against Tennessee.

There was also this nice 32-yarder from Nicholl State’s Lorran Fonseca to defeat rivals Mayor McCheese McNeese State:

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Kick Coverage, Week 0: Wyatt Bryan Is Your Early Groza Favorite

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Kick Coverage, Week 0

Welcome to the first weekly Kick Coverage update. As a general college football fan, Week 0 feels like a big, mean cocktease. As a first-time (well, since grade school) college football blogger guy thing, it’s a welcome ease-in to me figuring out what the hell I’m doing.

If I ever miss something cool, let me know in the comments.

Kicker of the Week:

Wyatt Bryan was called upon three times on Saturday and made as many field goals in Colorado State’s 58-27 rout of Oregon State. The junior left head coach Mike Bobo with no regrets about recently awarding him a full scholarship, nailing the week’s longest FG in all of kicker nation, a 41-yarder from the right hash (click the video to jump straight to it).

Bryan’s earlier successful attempts were from 23 and 25. The Larkspur, Colorado native went 11/14 in 2016.

Extra Points:

1. Bryce Crawford and the rest of San Jose State had a rough Saturday against South Florida. After putting the day’s first score on the board with a 34-yard, Crawford had two PATs blocked in the Spartans’ come-from-ahead loss.

2. Stanford sophomore Jet Toner no doubt impressed Aussie Rules scouts (I know that joke doesn’t exactly land but it’s all I got) during his busy day down under. In addition to a 2/2 FG mark (from 40 and 34), Toner hit all 8 PATs in the Cardinal’s 62-7 drying out of Rice.

3. Speaking of Aussies, a 29-yard make from sophomore Ryan Meskell pulled Hawaii within five late in the fourth quarter against UMass. The Rainbow Warriors would eventually score in the game’s final minute, giving them a three-point victory. For the former semi-pro soccer goalkeeper, it was his first official FG attempt and make in American football. No word how is ha’a is coming along.

Week 1 Kicker Matchup To Watch: 

Andy Pappanastos and/or J.K. Scott and/or Joseph Bulovas (Alabama)

VS.

Ricky Aguayo (Florida St.)

6-2, 196 lbs
Sophomore
Mascotte, FL
Kohl’s Ranking: #3, Class of 2016

This Season: 0-0
Career: 19/26 (73.1%): 0-0 (1-19); 5-5 (20-29); 30-39 (7-7); 40-49 (7-13); 50+ (0-1)
Longest make: 47

The Predecessor versus an Unknown Debutant, Punter, and/or True Freshman. Nick Saban had three kickers listed on the depth chart he put out Monday, and some seem to think it will be a platoon situation with Scott taking the kickoffs and long field goals, Pappanastos handling the shorter ones, and Bulovas only taking the field if Bama has a sizable lead. Scott has been the Tide’s punter since 2014, but was recruited as a three-star kicker and allegedly just missed a 73-yarder in high school. Pappanastos transferred to Alabama as a redshirt junior ahead of the 2016 season from Ole Miss. In Oxford he appeared in just three games, taking a few PATs, a kickoff, and missing his lone FG opportunity.

Aguayo on the other hand, we know all about. ‘I Water’ (as his name translates into English) is the younger brother of one Roberto, current Chicago Bears kicker and one of the greatest the NCAA has ever seen. After going 6-6 in FGs in the season opener, Aguayo had some struggles in 2016, including having his final kick of the season (a PAT) blocked and returned for a safety in the Orange Bowl.

If both defenses are as good as advertised we should have plenty of opportunities to see not two, not three, but maybe four or even five kickers in action. Being played in Atlanta United’s fancy new home, it will also be good conditions for some long trys.

Kicker Survivor Leaderboard Through Week 0:

Two have already left us on Kicker Survivor island. That’s about 1% less the amount of stats I have to look up from here on out.

StreakNameSchoolWeek EliminatedMissed (Yds.)
3Wyatt BryanColo St.-
2Jet TonerStanford-
1Bryce CrawfordSJSU-
1Ryan MeskellHawaii-
0J̶o̶r̶d̶a̶n̶ ̶C̶h̶o̶u̶k̶a̶i̶r̶Oregon St.0, at Colo St.52
0R̶h̶e̶t̶t̶ ̶A̶l̶m̶o̶n̶d̶BYU0, vs. Portland St.33

Long Ball Leaderboard Through Week 0:

After 0 weeks of football, Bryan is the early favorite to win both the Groza as well as the coveted Longballer of the Year title. Can he go wire to wire?

Rk.NameSchoolDistanceWeek, Opp.
1Wyatt BryanColo. St.410, Oregon St.
2Jet TonerStanford400, @Rice
2Jordan ChoukairOregon St.400, @Colo St.
4Jet TonerStanford340, @Rice
4Bryce CrawfordSJSU340, USF
6Ryan MeskellHawaii290, @UMASS
7Jordan ChoukairOregon St.250, @Colo St.
7Wyatt BryanColo. St.250, Oregon St.
9Wyatt BryanColo. St.230, Oregon St.

Game Winners:

None, yet.

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Kick Coverage, 2017 Pre-Season Edition

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Kick Coverage, 2017 Pre-Season Edition

If things go well this season, I’d love to do some of sort big college football kicker season preview that includes projections based on the previous seasons’ numbers. For now, I thought I’d much less scientifically give a rundown of the Groza’s pre-season watch list and give my finalist predictions.

Lou Groza Watchlist

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission released their Lou Groza Award watchlist in mid-July.

The criteria for inclusion was all 14 returning kickers that made at least 20 field goals last year, the six kickers (not including overlap from the previous category) that attempted at least 15 field goals with 84%+ success, and three kickers (not including overlap) that hit multiple 50+ yards. Given that there were 28 senior kickers lost to graduation last season, this list of 30 encompasses about 30% of returning FBS kickers. Not that these lists mean anything of course–when it comes time for the shortlist there’s no ‘penalty’ to including a freshman starlet or someone else that didn’t make the pre-season list.

For now, this not-so-exclusive club looks like:

  • Ricky Aguayo (So.), FSU
  • Matt Anderson (Sr.), CAL
  • Stevie Artigue (Jr.), ULL
  • Michael Badgley (Sr.), MIA
  • Jonathan Barnes (Sr.), LT
  • John Baron II (Jr.), SDSU
  • Aaron Boumehri (So.), TEM
  • Drew Brown (Sr.), NEB
  • Daniel Carlson (Sr.), AUB
  • Emmit Carpenter (Jr.), MINN
  • Bryce Crawford (Jr.), SJSU
  • Blanton Creque (So.), LOU
  • Tyler Davis (Sr.), PSU
  • Clayton Hatfield (Jr.), TTU
  • Greg Huegel (Jr.), CLEM
  • Redford Jones (Sr.), TLSA
  • Kody Kroening (Sr.), FRES
  • Austin MacGinnis (Sr.), UK
  • Tommy Openshaw (Sr.), VAN
  • Eddy Pineiro (Jr.), FLA
  • Canton Rooker (Sr.), MTSU
  • Jason Sanders (Sr.), UNM
  • Parker Shaunfield (Jr.), USM
  • Skyler Simcox (Jr.), WKU
  • Joey Slye (Sr.), VTECH
  • Luke Strebel (Sr.), AFA
  • Mike Weaver (Sr.), WF
  • Matthew Wright (Jr.), UCF
  • Gary Wunderlich (Sr.), MISS
  • Louie Zervos (So.), OHIO

For those keeping score at home, that makes the list comprised of 16 seniors, 10 juniors, and three sophomores. Sixteen players represent Power 5 schools while the remaining 14 play in G5 conferences. Breakdown by conference looks like:

  • ACC: 6
  • SEC: 5
  • Mountain West: 5
  • Conference USA: 4
  • American: 3
  • Big 10: 3
  • Big 12: 1
  • MAC: 1
  • PAC12: 1

In the past decade, just one non-P5 kicker has claimed the ‘Groz (Tulane’s Cairo Santos in 2012).

Carlson seems to be the odds on favorite to win the award this season, having been a Finalist the past two. A third trip to Palm Beach County would make him the first kicker to ever be a three-time Finalist. Twelve of the kickers have been named semi-finalists (top 20) in previous seasons. Just Johnny Barnes and Joey Slye have made it to the semis twice of that group.

Pseudo-scientific Finalist Predictions: 

Since I don’t yet know the lay of the kicking landscape enough to project too much here, I decided to comprise my list simply off the highest returning kicker in FG%, in kicks beyond 40+*, and one wild card pick. That leaves me with:

Gary Wunderlich (Sr.), Ole Miss

Wunderlich had a breakout season last year, his accuracy shooting from 76% to 95.7% from his sophomore to junior year. He hit a 49 yarder against Auburn and missed his one and only 50+ attempt. Assuming his range has improved even just a little this offseason, I think the same kind of accuracy with a few long makes will see him dressing fancy in December.

Per LouGrozaAward.com: Wunderlich is the only returning FBS kicker who attempted double-digit field goals without missing a kick within 50 yards. Even with the long-range miss, his 95.7% accuracy rate is best among returning kickers with double-digit attempts.  

Daniel Carlson (Sr.), Auburn

The returning kicker with the most 50+ yard makes last season and second-longest FG (53), as well the below accolades. For what it’s worth (nothing), he’s also the AP’s preseason All-American selection.

Per LouGrozaAward.com: A finalist in both 2015 and 2016, Carlson is hoping the third time is the charm to take home the Groza. The nation’s active leader in career field goals (69), he led the nation in field goals per game last season. He has yet to miss a PAT in his career, a stretch of 141 straight that is the second-longest in SEC history.

Louie Zervos (So.), Ohio

Zervos balled hard last season, setting the NCAA record for kicks made by a freshman. Ohio kicked more field goals than anyone else in the MAC last season, and Z rose to the occasion hitting his 35 attempts at an 84% clip. He has a leg too, making at least six beyond 45 last season by my rough count. Bill Connelly’s S&P+ projects the Bobcat offense to be bad again this year, likely giving the sophomore even more opportunities to make the panel take notice.

Per LouGrozaAward.com: Simply put, Zervos led all FBS kickers with his 29 made field goals. That mark is the second-highest FBS single-season total in the last five years. He started off hot, going 4-for-5, 5-for-5, and 4-for-4 in the first three games of the season. His 21 made FGs from at least 30 yards are tied with two-time Groza finalist Daniel Carlson for the most by a returning kicker.

***Predicted Winner: Daniel Carlson*** 

I know it’s supposed to be a merit-based award, but if Carlson has a season good enough to get him back to the ceremony (and neither of the other nominees didn’t have exceptionally better seasons), I can see the panel giving him the Groza as a sort of lifetime achievement award.

*Technically Carlson is tied Florida’s Eddy Pineiro for makes beyond 40+ yards last season, but given Carlson’s familiarity by now with the faces at the PBCSC, I gave him the nod. Also, I’m guessing three players invited from the same conference would be unlikely to happen.

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See something wrong or have an idea, suggestion, or gripe? Let me know. Also, follow @cfbstats on Twitter for barely-regular updates.

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