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.
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:
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) September 10, 2017
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:
- Quinn Nordin, Michigan (6/8 FGs, 7/7 XPs, 2x 50+)
- Matt Gay, Utah (7/7 FGs, 5/5 Xps, Lng 49)
- 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. Name School Distance Week, Opp.
1 Quinn Nordin Michigan 55 1, Florida
2 Greg Joseph Florida Atlantic 54 1, Navy
T3 Matt Ammendola Oklahoma St. 53 2, at So. Alabama
Matthew McCrane Kansas State 53 1, Central Arkansas
5 Brandon Ruiz Arizona St. 52 1, New Mexico St.
6 Griffin Oakes Indiana 51 2, at Virginia
T7 Michael Badgley Miami (FL) 50 1, Bethune-Cookman
Daniel Carlson Auburn 50 1, Georgia Southern
Quinn Nordin Michigan 50 1, Florida
Joey Slye Virginia Tech 50 2, Delaware
T11 Aaron Boumheri Temple 49 2, Villanova
Emmit Carpenter Minnesota 49 2, at Oregon St.
Matt Gay Utah 49 1, N. Dakota
Cooper Rothe Wyoming 49 1, @Iowa
T15 Matt Ammendola Oklahoma St. 48 2, at So. Alabama
Daniel LaCamera Texas A&M 48 1, @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.
|5||Wyatt Bryan||Colorado St.|
|5||Sean Nuernberger||Ohio St.|
|4||John Baron II||SDSU|
|4||Haden Hoggarth||Boise St.|
|3||Jimmy Camacho||Fresno St.|
|3||Dominik Eberle||Utah St.|
|4||Colton Lichtenberg||Boston College|
|3||Erik Powell||Washington St.|
|3||Jason Sanders||New Mexico|
|3||Samuel Sloman||Miami (OH)|
|3||Mike Weaver||Wake Forest|
|2||Michael Badgley||Miami (FL)|
|2||Greg Joseph||Florida Atlantic|
|2||Trevor Moore||North Texas|
|2||Garrett Owens||Iowa St.|
|2||Nick Rice||Old Dominion|
|2||Michael Rubino||App. State|
|2||Sawyer Williams||Arkansas St.|
|1||Dylan Brown||New Mexico St.|
|1||Bryce Crawford||San Jose St.|
|1||Emilio Nadelman||South Florida|
|1||Ryan Nuss||Western Kentucky|
|1||Michael Smith||Utah St.|
|1||Brandon Wright||Georgia St.|
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: