the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bowling for Kickers 2011, The Final Kicks

In the big regular season game, four missed field goals by Alabama kickers and one overtime kick by LSU had given the Tigers a 9-6 win. In the even bigger game last night, it was once again about kicking - but this time it was all Alabama... 
Final score: 21-0.

Sophomore kicker Cade Foster, who had three of the four missed kicks in the prior meeting, handled kickoffs as usual. 
His only field goal attempt ended up being a fake play which netted a first down.
"I didn't know. Shelley was kicking the ball great tonight. He was on fire. When it's not broken, why fix it? He was making kicks, and that's what mattered. I'm not disappointed I didn't get the opportunity. I'm just happy Shelley made the kicks."
Sophomore punter Cody Mandell averaged 44.3 yards on three punts with a long of 52 yards. He tweeted afterward:
"S/o to all my specialists for doing their thing tonight!!! @JeremyShelley90 set a record! Dude is a beast!!! @carsontink was on point tonight. NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! It is amazing! What a feeling!"
The on-fire Dude-Beast, also known as junior kicker Jeremy Shelley, accounted for all of the Tides scoring through the first three quarters with five field goals (23, 34, 41, 35 & 44 yards). Back in the first game, his lone attempt was blocked. His second attempt last night, a 42 yarder, was also blocked:
“Coach came and talked to me and I just had the same feelings he did. We both know I had the range, I just had to have faith in that and really get the ball up in the air like I need to, like I normally do.”
In the end, his makes outnumbered the misses, and the Crimson Tide are this year's national champions.
“I feel like it’s great for both of us to have that redemption and be able to show the Bama nation what we can do....
That first one was the most nerve-racking. Once I hit that first one, I was like, ‘All right, let’s keep this going.’....
I haven’t hit a game-winner since I’ve been here. Hitting five in a game like this, it’s unbelievable. I can’t imagine anything being better.”

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