OSU football: Once a question mark, Matt Ammendola’s kicking has become a strength for Oklahoma State
STILLWATER — No place-kicker was more accurate than Matt Ammendola in the month of November.
Some may have matched him, but it was mathematically impossible to be better. The sophomore made all eight of his field-goal attempts and all 23 of his extra points over OSU’s final four games in the last month of the regular season.
“I think he’s just relaxed and kicking better,” coach Mike Gundy said.
It’s a storyline that flew under the radar for a few reasons. Often, kickers are only recognized when they miss. But Ammendola was also hurt by his successes coming at a time when OSU lost a couple of games as a team. The Cowboys went 2-2 in November, despite not missing an opportunity in the kicking game.
Still, it’s worth noting now that Ammendola has seemingly solidified his hold on the kicking position entering his junior season in 2018.
Ammendola’s leg was never a question. In Week 2 at South Alabama, he drilled a 53-yard field goal. He also finished the year 6-of-8 on field goals of 40 yards or longer, a solid rate for a college kicker.
But the questions came early in the season about his accuracy. Ammendola missed four field goals in September, including two inside of 30 yards at Texas Tech.
Since that game, though, he has been stout: 12-of-14 overall. And his last miss came back on Oct. 28 at West Virginia.
Ammendola also made all 67 extra-point attempts this season. OSU hasn’t had a perfect season by a kicker on extra points since Ben Grogan in 2014.
“It’s kind of like a golf swing,” Gundy said. “He was getting through it too fast, and then he’s relaxed and he’s much smoother. And I think he’s improved considerably over the last few weeks just relaxing and letting everything take place and not trying to do too much at once.”