AP NEWS

McCann, field goal unit still seeking stability

October 11, 2017

If coach Barry Odom had the chance to tie a game with a field goal, he does not know what he would do. He said Monday it would depend on the length of the kick and it would depend on the wind.

His field goal unit has been far from stable in 2017, and it would leave the coach with a tough decision. The Tigers are ranked seventh in the SEC in field goals made, but they have yet to convert a kick longer than 43 yards.

Odom said that the whole unit is responsible for the field goal struggles, not just sophomore kicker Tucker McCann. The kicker was pressured on multiple occasions in Saturday’s game against Kentucky, and a high snap from James Workman led to a blocked field goal.

“I do feel good about our kicker,” Odom said. “I feel really good about our holder (punter Corey Fatony). I don’t feel very good about or snapper or our protection. We’ve bought ourselves a whole bunch of work on that unit.”

Workman is no longer listed as the outright starting long-snapper on the depth chart. Drew Wise was also named, and Odom said there will be an open competition throughout the week.

Along with the blocked kick, McCann missed a 38-yard attempt against Kentucky. If the team had converted both field goals, the game would have been tied. The kicker also missed a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter but was given a second chance after Kentucky was called for a running-into-the-kicker penalty.

Heading into the Kentucky game, McCann stressed the importance of having a short-term memory, saying he has been working on staying even-keeled.

“Not getting too stuck on one certain thing; just knowing that you can make every kick,” McCann said. “Just having a confident mindset.”

To the kicker’s credit, he bounced back from his first miss against Kentucky and made his next two attempts. He’s also made 16 straight extra points, showing improvement from the 2016 season, in which he missed four and was benched multiple times.

Though he’s still finding his way with field goals, McCann has always had superior leg strength. He hit a 60-yard field goal in high school and chose Missouri over powerhouses Alabama and Florida State.

At a Kohl’s Kicking National Elite Camp in July, camp director Jamie Kohl told the Missouri sophomore that he had an NFL leg.

“Jamie doesn’t just throw out compliments to grease somebody’s wheel,” said Jeff McCann, the kicker’s father.

Tucker McCann has shown strides as a sophomore, but the leg Missouri recruited is still searching for consistency.

Supervising editor is Pete Bland.