The Habit of Kicking


You know what’s worse than field goals?  Missed field goals.  Everybody agrees that this is a truism.  Some, however, might take it one step further and say that the only thing worse than missing field goals is attempting them at all.  To my mind, when I see a field goal attempted, I often imagine that the Ducks are giving up a good chance to make 7 points so that they can hope to steal 3.

The Ducks tried hard to not put the ball through the uprights last year, and they were mostly successful at keeping things in the hands of Marcus Mariota and crossing the goal line instead.  The Ducks attempted only 14 field goals on the season.  To compare, the Pac-12 North champion Stanford Cardinal attempted nearly twice that number at 27.

As sad as this sounds, I hope the Ducks kick the seams off of the ball during the non-conference schedule this upcoming season.  I’m as much a fan for going for it on fourth down as anybody.  I jump up and down for every two point attempt, but eventually, if the Ducks want to raise the Pac-12 championship trophy and, hopefully, the national trophy the team needs to consistently make the big kicks.  If we hope to have confidence in our kicker(s?) during the big games, they need to get lots of reps during the lesser ones.  I hope to see a lot more traditional kicking plays when the Ducks get a comfortable lead on their opponents throughout the year.  It’s not as thrilling to watch, but it’s a facet of the Duck’s game that can be refined and will pay dividends when the biggest games come.

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