Home > Uncategorized > Missouri Ices Its Own Kicker. Twice.

Missouri Ices Its Own Kicker. Twice.

The effectiveness of icing a kicker before a last-second field goal is debatable. Some say it actually makes a difference. Some say it’s insignificant. Everyone does it these days. I side with the “it’s not worth it” crowd. It mostly seems to me to be a tedious tactic.

Regardless, have you ever seen a coach ice his own kicker before a game-winning field goal attempt? If you watched Friday’s Missouri-Arizona State game, you did. In fact, you saw it more than once.

First of all, after a pretty entertaining first quarter, this thing became a huge pain to view. Both teams negated so many positives with so many penalties. There were 23 in all, and that counts only the ones that were accepted. Each team cost itself more than 100 yards. Missouri quarterback James Franklin throws a football like it’s three sizes too big for his hands. Mizzou’s playcalling was uncreative — it was pretty much either an out pass toward the sidelines or Franklin running after faking a draw. It didn’t take long for the Sun Devils to stop biting on the fake.

And the Tigers’ offensive line, missing two starters, must have decided before the game that it wasn’t much interested in doing some certain things, you know, pass blocking. At all. I understand Missouri likes to get Franklin out in space, but he was running for his life about seven-tenths of a second after every snap.

Yet through all of that, the Tigers still had a chance to claim victory after trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter. It rested on the foot of a kicker who had made 47 of 51 career attempts. He had a career long of 50 and although he missed a shot from 54 yards earlier in the game, it was plenty long. This one was a relative chip shot.

From 48 yards … tie game … 17 seconds left …

Timeout.

It must have come from Arizona State. Gotta ice that kicker. One problem: The ESPN scorebar graphic at the bottom of the screen took one of those yellow line thingies that represent team timeouts away from Missouri. Whaaaa?! Why would Missouri call a TO? They are the team with an opportunity to win. Why delay success?

Oh, well. Whatever. That was odd, but maybe head coach Gary Pinkel didn’t like his offensive line’s alignment. It’s been awful all night long.

Anyway, here we go. From 48 yards … 17 seconds left … and … timeout. This time, I hear the referee declare that this is the Tigers’ third and final timeout.

You’ve got to be kidding me! I seriously thought he must have misspoke, but sure enough, Missouri called two consecutive timeouts before its own kicker was set to become the most popular man on campus for the next week. No reason was given. Nothing evidently changed on the field. I still have no idea what was going on and haven’t read anything enlightening from Missouri’s coaches. But it just seems grossly counterintuitive to make your kicker wait and wait and wait to win a game all for the sake of … talking? Seriously, what could Pinkel and the Tigers not solve during that first timeout that they just had to call a second one?

Almost inevitably, the kicker put plenty of leg behind the ball, but it curved sharply and ended up wide left. And no, his name is not important now for the simple fact that he missed the kick. Sorry.

The game went to overtime, Arizona State scored, Missouri did not, and the Tigers lost a game they really didn’t deserve to win. But they had a chance. And before that could happen,  Pinkel needed to inconveniently kill 60 seconds.

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