With fall weather finally here and the tougher weather conditions being played in, special teams is becoming even more important than before. A few mistakes on special teams can cost your team a game. Missed field goals or even a shanked punt could do the job. Poor kickoff coverage was Ohio State’s struggle on Saturday afternoon and it almost cost them a big win.
Regardless of some of the bad weather, we still had quite a few strong kicking performances. Here are my kickers of the week for week nine of the college football season:
Johnny Townsend – Florida
Starting out with someone playing in the cozy, warm weather, Townsend makes his second appearance of the year on this list. While his team got run off of the field on Saturday, Townsend was busy with seven punts. He boasted an incredible average of 54.4 yards per kick throughout the day.
He gave his team chances with these big kicks from tough field position. This game was not much of one from the start but Townsend was a bright spot for the Gators.
Pressley Harvin III – Georgia Tech
Another underdog team was given a boost from great punting this weekend. Georgia Tech remained within striking distance for much of their game thanks to solid defense and some nice punting. Harvin III sent nine punts deep, averaging 46.9 yards per kick.
Three of those punts pinned Clemson inside of their own 20-yard line, but that was not the most impressive stat of the day. Harvin and his coverage team only allowed the Tigers one punt return yard on the afternoon. Net punt yards are a big part of special teams and the Yellow Jackets played this aspect perfectly. Not allowing dangerous return-man Ray-Ray McCloud of Clemson any big chances to return a kick, surely helped their chances of winning on Saturday.
Matthew McCrane – Kansas State
When your team fails to play to their potential, your job as a place kicker becomes even more crucial. The Wildcats failed to bury rival Kansas on Saturday and McCrane came up big with three field goals to give his team the win.
McCrane was three-for-three connecting from 31, 36, and 41 yards this weekend. His biggest kick came with 1:21 remaining in the game to give Kansas State a two-possession lead and seal the game. McCrane is a big reason why his team was not upset by the Jayhawks.
Drew Brown – Nebraska
Hitting four field goals in a tight game was the difference between a win and a loss for the Cornhuskers. Brown was perfect on the day as he scored all 12 of Nebraska’s points through the first three quarters. Making these kicks from 44, 21, 37, and 25 yards, Brown pulled through when his team needed him the most. The Cornhuskers now sit at 4-4 and are on track to make a bowl game thanks to this win.
Logan Laurent – UMass
My overall kicker of the week was able to do it all for his team in a close one. While recently picking up the kicking duties in addition to punting for the Minutemen, Laurent has been perfect so far on field goals.
Saturday was no different as Laurent hit two field goals in regulation from 47 and 45 yards. He also punted eight times, averaging 44.6 yards per kick and pinning two inside of the 20-yard line.
To top off what was already a stellar day kicking the ball, Laurent nailed a 36-yard field goal in the second overtime to send the Minutemen home as winners.
Laurent hits his 3rd FG of the game!!
Laurent finished the night with a celebration rivaling Raiders’ punter Marquette King.
UMass kicker Logan Laurent did a backflip after hitting game-winning field goal to beat Appalachian State: https://t.co/P10r5gw12j pic.twitter.com/CLa2Gnxq7P
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 30, 2017
Join me back here next week to check out the latest group of ‘Kickers of the Week’.