There is a plethora of storylines from Saturday night’s game against the Purdue Boilermakers in Ross-Ade Stadium. Some, we will call them, wild officiating calls, defensive woes on both sides and the inevitable but always impressive rocket passes of Senior quarterback Drew Lock. One storyline that has been overlooked so far is the resiliency of Tiger kicker Tucker McCann. I am sure McCann would rather us not bring up his below par 2016 season but honestly that is what makes his last two seasons all the more impressive.
The junior placekicker began his career as a freshman coming into a tumultuous season with a surprise first year head coach in Barry Odom after longtime head coach Gary Pinkel had to step down to battle another foe in a non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Saying McCann struggled that season, much like Mizzou as a whole, would be an understatement. He finished the season a respectful 39 for 43 from extra point but struggled hitting just six of twelve field goals after coming out of high school as the 3rd ranked kicker in the nation according to Rivals.com. Many kickers would struggle even more to get any type of confidence back. Not McCann. Not only did he bounce back, he finished second in the SEC and fifth in the NCAA in field goal percentage last season hitting 15 of 17 and nailed 51 of his 53 extra points.
McCann has begun 2018 just as he ended last season, a perfect 14 for 14 on extra points and has hit eight of eleven field goals. While that doesn’t hold up to his nearly 90% accuracy from last year, after going four for four in both field goals and extra points and drilling a walk-off game winner he has cemented his stake and will get plenty more chances to raise that average. It is all too common nowadays for people to overact and attack athletes, usually kickers, on social media when they underperform or miss a kick (Google Zane Gonzalez for more current evidence). Luckily Tucker McCann overcame the trolls and is proving he is one hell of a kicker and I look forward to seeing him get a chance to win us games the rest of this year and next.
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