BEVO BEAT

Despite misses against Kansas State, Texas not ready to look for another kicker

Posted October 9th, 2017

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For many Texas fans, the lasting memory from UT’s 40-34 double-overtime win over Kansas State will be Chris Warren III’s game-ending push into the end zone.

What would have happened if Warren not scored on that third-down attempt from the Kansas State 2? Texas coach Tom Herman said on Monday that he would have trusted his kicker to win the game. UT would not have attempted its 11th fourth-down conversion of the season.

“Oh, no way.,” Herman said. “No, you want to talk about having some explaining to do? No, we would not have done that.”

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Texas place kicker Joshua Rowland (49) reacts after missing a game-winning field goal against Kansas State on Oct. 7, 2017. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Kicking, though, has been an issue at Texas this year. Joshua Rowland has kicked a 49-yard field goal, but he has also missed five of his nine field-goal attempts. (Rowland is 22-of-22 on extra points). One of Rowland’s two makes against Kansas State was a 34-yarder that tied Saturday’s game with 1:37 left in regulation. He, however, also had 27- and 45-yard misfires in the fourth quarter.

Rowland, a junior transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, remains the starter on UT’s depth chart. Herman said Rowland made all 15 of his practice kicks on Sunday. Six of those attempts were from beyond 50 yards.

“Tomorrow we’re going to put him in more pressure and have the whole team stand around him screaming and yelling and that whole thing,” Herman said. “But it’s not 100,000 people with the game on the line either. So if it becomes problematic that it’s obviously a game issue, then we’re not going to repeatedly perform the same act expecting different results. We’ve got to change something on game day.”

Herman continued: “But for now we’ve got to exhaust all available avenues to prepare him for that moment. If we’re out of ideas and out of avenues, then we’ll have to make a change at some point. But right now we have to trust that we can get him better and more prepared for those moments.”

Mitchell Becker, a fifth-year walk-on, is seated behind Rowland on the depth chart. Last year, Becker relieved the embattled Trent Domingue and made two kicks in UT’s season finale against TCU. Freshmen Chris Naggar and Jack Geiger are also listed as kickers on the Texas roster.

The post Despite misses against Kansas State, Texas not ready to look for another kicker appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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