Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Purdue's Wiggs dials long distance
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Most kickers are overshadowed by those who run, pass, catch and tackle, and Purdue's Carson Wiggs was no exception last week.
Sophomore running back Ralph Bolden stole the show for the Boilermakers against Toledo, running for 234 yards, the third-highest single-game total in team history. Bolden's brilliance eclipsed another milestone set by Wiggs at the end of the first half.
The sophomore drilled a 59-yard field goal, which marked the longest in Purdue history and tied for the seventh longest in Big Ten history. Wiggs shattered his own school mark of 53 yards set last year at Ohio State. And the kick might have been good from 65.
"He's nailed some long ones in practice, and I didn't hesitate a bit to send him out there," Purdue head coach Danny Hope said. "We'd talked about it during the week, myself and the coaches with our team, about one of the keys to victory against Toledo would be to be real solid up front, field goal protection-wise. Because if we got within the range that he'd been hitting them in practice, we'd line up and give him a shot.
"He's been nailing them in the 60s in practice. That one sailed through the uprights and landed back in the net somewhere, probably would have been good from 65, 70 yards."
Wiggs took over the kicking duties from Chris Summers midway through last season and connected on 8 of 11 attempts. The 6-foot, 202-pound Texan was ranked as the nation's No. 4 kicker by ESPN's Scouts Inc. in the 2008 recruiting class.
"He has a tremendous leg," Hope said. "He's becoming a much more polished field goal kicker and place-kicker. I believe he can set more records here at Purdue and be one of the great kickers in the country."