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Penn State Football: Franklin Not Worried About Kicking Despite Bumpy Start

by on September 20, 2017 1:55 PM

Penn State kicker Tyler Davis is an interesting example of consistency.

He has made 32 of his 36 career kicks, and until this season his only two misses were both blocks. If it got over the line, it was going in. And time and time again it did just that.

But in 2017 things have been slightly shaky for one of the best kickers statistically in Penn State history. Of his four attempts this season he has missed two. Both of which came in the range of 30-39 yards, an area where he has made his bread and butter of the course of his career.

So what's the issue?

Well in fairness four kicks is hardly a large sample size. Even so, a new snapper and a new holder makes the three-man routine something the Nittany Lions are figuring out.

Or as Davis puts it, sometimes you just miss the kick.

"What I love about Tyler is he's a mature kid and he's very honest," James Franklin said of Davis earlier in the week. "You know, he missed the one on Saturday; he came to the sideline, and he goes, "That one's on me. I just missed it. To me, as a coach, there's a lot of value in that when you've got a guy that is going to say, I just mis-hit it. Rather than the guy that every time he misses it, it's the snapper or it's the hold or it's the wind or it the rain or whatever it is.

"Tyler is a guy that you're going to get really good feedback. You know, if he missed it, he's going to say he missed it. If he felt like they missed the spot but he still should have made it, he'll say that. Maybe missed the spot a little bit, but I still should have made the kick; or the snap threw my rhythm off, but I've still got to get it through the uprights or whatever."

Certainly nobody is expecting Davis to never miss a kick in his career, even if he seemed to be on that path for a long while. But as Penn State enters Big Ten play, there will be plenty of value in getting Davis and company back on track. Maybe even finding a wide range tow work with. In his career Davis has attempted five kicks of over 40-yards and has made all of them.

Even so, Penn State will want to get everything ironed out before those long kicks come back into play.

"So we have a new snapper and we've got a new holder and that factors in, but the most important thing is we've just got to get them as comfortable as we possibly can as the season continues to progress," Franklin added. "I think they are in a really good place. But there is some of that that factors into it. I think, how many has he missed now, two this year? I think the first one was a bobbled hold that didn't get down clean and the second one was on him. And when I say a "bobbled hold," I mean, the combination snap-hold. As we all know, it takes all three of those phases working together."

Chances are it will work itself out, if only because Davis has been a staple of consistency over the years. But with Penn State eyeing another run at the Big Ten title and playoff aspirations, all the little details matter even more.



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