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Penn State Football: Davis Ready To Kick At Tricky Heinz Field

by on September 07, 2016 1:30 PM

Penn State kicker Tyler Davis really just wanted to play football. Or as most of America knows it, soccer.

But for whatever reason it wasn't meant to be. Looking to transfer from Bradley University at Illinois, Davis wanted to take his talents elsewhere. The only catch, Bradley wouldn't release him from his scholarship to play soccer at any other university in the nation. So Davis had no choice, soccer was out of the picture even if he didn't want it to be.

Thankfully kicking a football isn't too much different from kicking a soccer ball. The game is a bit different sure, but kicking is kicking, so Davis went to a few camps and kept winning kicking events. Suddenly playing the other football didn't seem so unrealistic, and in turn Davis walked on at Penn State.

And he hasn't missed a kick since. 24-for-24 on field goals and extra points. Where Sam Ficken's journey began with miss after miss, Davis seems to have sidestepped the entire learning curve all together. The result is one of the most unheralded players on Penn State's roster, especially on a unit that as a whole has been less than stellar. Davis' shot at perfection began as he kicked in relief of Joey Julius who battled inconsistency issues with his technique and accuracy.

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"We know what we can do, we know how good we can be, so we just go out there every day," Davis said. "We definitely know that we have heat on us, we took the blame for some of the games [last year], but that was more motivation for us to get better."

That heat will continue this weekend as Penn State faces Pitt at Heinz Field, a stadium known for swirling winds and more than a few missed field goals. In 2011 stats showed that while NFL kickers converted 79.7 percent of field-goal tries that season league wide, the percentage for success was 71.8 percent.

The ace in the hole for Davis though, his Chicago roots and plenty of practice kicking in the real Windy City.

"I have heard that Heinz Field is a pretty hard place to kick, but I'm also from Chicago where it's super windy, so every summer I'm practicing with wind," Davis said. "I'm just going to have to get used to it before the game, and get a feel for what it's like both ways. I'll never aim outside the post, but if I need to aim a little inside the post both ways, I'll do that."

It's hard to argue that Davis doesn't know what he's doing, he is after all, perfect.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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