Big 12: Pat McAfee

After early kicking success, Henery can't wait to punt

June, 30, 2009
6/30/09
3:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Who needs a quiet summer? Alex Henery is doing his best to stay busy by trying to win another job with Nebraska.

It's why Henery is trying to build on his record-breaking start as a kicker by becoming the Cornhuskers' regular punter.

But whether booming high spiraling punts or drilling balls through the uprights, Henery has confidence he can help the Cornhuskers at both positions.

 
  Josh Wolfe/Icon SMI
  Nebraska kicker Alex Henery is looking to add the punting duties to his plate in 2009.

"It's something that I can do," Henery said. "Some kids are strictly kickers and others are punters. I feel like I can do both. It's a challenge I feel like I can accomplish."

Henery actually came to Nebraska as a punter after averaging more than 41 yards per kick at Burke High School in Omaha in his junior and senior seasons. Those numbers earned him all-state honors as a punter from the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Journal-Star in both seasons.

But when he arrived at Nebraska, his chances at the position were stifled with Dan Titchener and Jake Wesch in front of him on the depth chart. After sitting out a redshirt season, Henery moved to kicker where he has blossomed into one of the nation's most consistent performers once he got his chance.

And he earned Bo Pelini's ultimate compliment when he was described as "a stud" after his record-breaking 57-yard kick that helped beat Colorado last year.

During his college career, Henery has missed only one extra point and one field goal attempt inside of 50 yards. He is the most consistent kicker in Nebraska history to this point.

"I couldn't imagine things turning out much better for me than how they've worked out," Henery said. "I'm happy with how things have gone so far. My career has worked out pretty well."

Even with that early success, Henery hopes to build on that by punting this season after the graduation of Wesch and Titchener.

Few college players have been successful at both jobs. But recent success by Wake Forest standout Sam Swank and West Virginia's Pat McAfee have convinced Henery to give it a shot.

(Read full post)

About last night: Nice win by the Buffaloes

September, 19, 2008
9/19/08
6:13
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate Colorado for a strong performance in last night's 17-14 overtime victory over West Virginia.

It wasn't an artistic success, but the Buffaloes did just enough to win the game.

That, along with some questionable clock management by West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who appeared befuddled with the use of time outs late in regulation.

I was particularly impressed with the play of Colorado TB Rodney "Speedy" Stewart, who looked like the second coming of Darren Sproles in the way he changed the game's momentum. It was Stewart and not heralded fellow freshman Darrell Scott who became the key player for the Buffaloes down the stretch.

And even as Colorado's offense struggled down the stretch with 10 scoreless possessions in a row, the defense kept them in the game late.

The game hinged on a made field goal in overtime. West Virginia's Pat McAfee plunked his off the left goalpost. And Colorado's Aric Goodman drilled his through on the following possession, earning Colorado the victory.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, Colorado teammates have dubbed Goodman "Money" because of his consistency with clutch kicks. The former walk-on earned the nickname another way when Colorado coach Dan Hawkins told him after the game that he had earned a scholarship.

I hate seeing how overtimes often result in kicking contests. And I'd like to see both teams get the ball at the 50-yard line rather than the 25 to ensure a couple of first downs before a field-goal attempt would result. That's just my own pet peeve, however.

Colorado isn't complaining about overtimes rules -- with good reason. But they still ought to thank Stewart for his new takes about clock management.

And the triumph likely will put Colorado into the top 25 on Sunday. And it should set them up for an interesting game at Florida State next week.

Big 12 links: Ike's effects felt at A&M-Miami game

September, 19, 2008
9/19/08
9:01
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The remnants and reminders of Hurricane Ike can be found scattered across the Texas A&M campus.

Parking will be at a premium for the Aggies' game Saturday against Miami because many surface lots have been taken over by the arrival of refugees from the storm. Nearby Reed Arena is a government-designated emergency site. About 300 special-needs patients are being treated on the floor of the arena after being transported there from throughout the hurricane-ravaged area.

Aggies officials took down banners, goal posts and wind screens with the approach of the storm. The campus was largely untouched.

Not as fortunate was the nearby campus of Texas A&M at Galveston, which suffered some significant damage. It has led to the relocation of about 1,000 Galveston-campus students to College Station, where they could remain for the rest of the semester.

Hotel rooms, already tough to come by on a football game day, are at even more of a premium this weekend in the Bryan-College Station area because evacuees have been using them since the storm blew through. It's led the 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M to start an organized drive of releasing additional rooms in the area that might have been reserved for Saturday's game.

Some might wonder why the game should be played this weekend after the recent catastrophe. But in a way, having a game on Saturday will be good for the Southeast Texas area. It will give everyone a chance to forget about their recent troubles, at least for a few hours.

Here are some links from around the Big 12 this morning.

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