A new kicker leaps ahead in tight competition
If the Horned Frogs were set to face Jackson State today, Cole Bunce would be the starting place kicker, Gary Patterson said after practice Friday.
The sophomore from San Jose, Ca. took the lead on the field in the “50-yard range.”
“We had a long kick, and Bunce was only one who made it,” Patterson said. “You have to have a guy who makes it when it counts.”
The anointed starter from Monday, Brandon Ritchie, was “on the shelf” Friday because he didn’t kick as much during the spring and summer, when his eligibility had not yet been granted, Patterson said. Ritchie was cleared last week.
Field goal issues plagued the Horned Frogs in multiple losses last season when Ryan Graf and Brandon Hatfield were 19-for-25. Bunce was the kickoff specialist and did not attempt a field goal.
Patterson credited some of the kicking strides to Lucas Gravelle, the new long snapper who graduate transferred from Washington State. Patterson said he gets the ball to the holder quicker and more accurately.
“I think I feel a lot better with the kickers this year because of the snapper,” Patterson said. “Kickers are like golf swings in that if you change even a little thing they’re off, so I never say everything was okay there.”
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