Urgent Note to UConn Football – Recruiting Kickers Next Year

When this year’s UConn football installment ends, the Huskies must place a classified ad in every newspaper across the country. It should be something like this:


– Place Kicker urgently needed

– Essential extra points

– Field goal accuracy is a must

– Have the ability to make at least a 40-yard field goal

– Leather thick enough to withstand abuse from the UConn fanbase

– Survive longer than a few games

Seriously, UConn hasn’t had a good kicker since the second Clinton administration, when the Huskies were still a Division I-AA football team and Memorial Stadium was still in use. Matt Nuzie has just managed to have one good year and still can’t score extra points, an absolute necessity for a team that has a hard time scoring to begin with. The last thing this team can afford is to give points back to teams like West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Louisville. Even games against teams like Cincinnati become an adventure when the kicker is unreliable. Okay, Nuzie’s had a lot of pressure on him since he came to campus. However, as a Division I kicker, he needs to be able to kick. Greg Vicidomino’s experience was a complete flop Saturday, as he missed all three of his field goal attempts against Army in UConn’s 21-7 victory.

While the Huskies were able to pull away from the Black Knights, it could have been more of a beatdown if the UConn kicker had been a bit accurate. I was at the Wake Forest game earlier this year, and the Huskies had just scored against the Demon Deacons to cut their lead to 14-13. The crowd was in a frenzy and UConn was banging on all cylinders.

It is easy to guess what happened next. Nuzie blew the extra point. A one-point deficit may not seem like a big deal, but it deflates momentum. Instead of being tied, the team is down one point. When the Deacs made a field goal later in the game, the score was 17-13. Nuzie also missed a field goal in that game. The Huskies eventually lost 24-13, but it’s a much bigger psychological difference to be down three at 17-14 than down four at 17-13 than people realize. Being down four means the team must take chances for a touchdown instead of setting up for a tying field goal.

The bottom line is that the Huskies need to stop worrying about getting the best athletes and go out and recruit someone to put the pigskin through the uprights because they won’t win close games with the kickers they have now. At the rate that the kicking game is going, the Huskies might as well try to find some eligibility for Boston College great Doug Flutie and have him kick the ball between those two yellow snaps like he did as a member of the New England Patriots. The situation for UConn’s kick game may be just that bleak.

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