Big 12: Pat McAfee
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.
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.
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.
- Who's counting? Colorado claimed a 17-14 overtime victory after West Virginia K Pat McAfee bounced his kick off the left upright before Aric Goodman's game-winning kick. The victory came despite 10 straight possessions without Colorado scoring before the late rally.
- Scintillating Baylor freshman QB Robert Griffin will be on display during the Bears' nationally televised game tonight at Connecticut.
- San Antonio Express-News columnist Mike Finger places Griffin's quick debut into perspective, comparing his strong start with others produced by Big 12 freshman quarterbacks.
- Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson's rushing production is down this season, yet the Cowboys' offense is humming.
- Austin American-Statesman columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden wonder in their weekly video report if Texas really deserves mention among the nation's elite.
- Returning Big 12 rushing leader Marlon Lucky is adapting well to the Cornhuskers' increased depth at I-back.
- Only a handful of Iowa cable customers will be able to watch Iowa State's game at UNLV on Saturday night.
- Kansas TB Angus Quigley calls himself "the most inexperienced, experienced back" on the Jayhawks' team.
- Missouri already has 10 freshmen receiving significant playing time so far this season.
- Kansas City Star columnist Blair Kerkhoff wonders if Oklahoma DT DeMarcus Granger's recent injury was college football's version of a purpose pitch.
- Oklahoman columnist Jenni Carlson writes about Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford as an emerging Heisman candidate.
- Texas A&M and Miami both are eyeing a return to the football elite after recent struggles in both programs.
- A developing ground game is providing -- at least for Texas Tech -- an unconventional way to boost its offense.
- Undersized WR Brandon Banks came up big for Kansas State against Louisville, producing seven catches for a game-high 153 yards.
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State