Thursday, September 07, 2006

The smallest BMOC

When Sports Illustrated came out with its College Football Preview Edition, it listed the Big Men on Campus (or BMOC) for each of the Division 1A football programs in the nation.

If you guessed senior quarterback Drew Stanton was listed as the MSU BMOC, you'd be right.

However, as this season unfolds, Stanton might get a run for his money from 5-foot-eight, 151-pound freshman kicker Brett Swenson.

What did Swenson do to earn such high praise? He made a 35-yard field goal and a 23-yard field goal.

Alright, it doesn't sound like much. Let me put it this way. After last Saturday's 27-17 win over Idaho, Swenson needs only four more successful kicks to surpass last years team total of five field goals.

For all the blame that has gone around for the Spartans 2005 collapse, much of the blame can and should be placed at the feet (literally) of the MSU kickers. Last year's kickers went 5-for-16 on the year. That's right, 5-for-16!

With that kind of performance, the team and the coaching staff had such little faith in its kicking game that field goals were not an option at the end of the season and the red-zone pressure mounted on Stanton.

The 2005 kickers did not even attempt a field goal until the third game of the season against Notre Dame and John Goss' season long was 32-yards - Swenson surpassed that in his first try.

So as you heard a collective sigh of relief from Spartan Stadium last Saturday, it was because the little kicker from Florida was growing into a big man on campus - even if it was after just a 35-yard field goal.

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