Federico moves on from last-minute miss
Kyle Federico thought everything went the way it should have.
The snap was perfect, the holder made no mistakes, and the freshman kicker even thought his kick and follow through all went as planned.
But his kick went wide right, and the 43-yard field goal attempt prevented the Rutgers football team from escaping with a last-second victory against Fresno State.
“After looking at it on film, it was a great attempt,” Federico said. “I didn’t make any stupid mistakes, I didn’t miss the kick because of something really minor and dumb.”
It was unfortunate for Federico, who up until then had converted his previous three attempts, including a 48-yarder in the first quarter to give the Scarlet Knights a 10-7 lead.
The Ponte Vedra, Fla., native also connected on all four extra-point attempts before the miss.
“I thought he hit it pretty good,” said head coach Kyle Flood after the loss. “It had some early rise to it. It just went a little wide right.”
At that point, teammates are usually there to offer advice and encouragement for a player who knows they made a mistake.
Senior punter Nick Marsh did the opposite.
“To be honest, I didn’t say anything to him,” Marsh said. “If everyone comes up to you and everyone is trying to give you their words of wisdom, you know that you screwed up and you overthink it. He knows what he did wrong, and he knows how he can do better next time.”
Marsh said that when you make a mistake like that, you already know what it is you did wrong, and when teammates come to offer a quick fix, it can be frustrating. Federico agrees.
“As a kicker, everybody kind of has their own unique form,” he said. “Some people like to do some things better than others and everyone kind of has a different perspective of that. … I just think you need to stick with what you do, because obviously what I did worked in that game, so I’m just going to stick with what I do and move on.”
He will now move on to Saturday’s game against Norfolk State, where he will kick for only the third time at home since he joined the program.
Federico missed the last eight games of the season to a hip injury as sophomore Nick Borgese took over the kicking duties for the rest of the season.
Federico’s last appearance inside High Point Solutions Stadium was Oct. 6 against Connecticut, when he made attempts from 31 and 45 yards in the 19-3 victory.
So it will be a more comfortable setting than the one he experienced at Fresno State, though he said it is something you have to deal with.
“As a kicker on the sideline, you always have people yelling at you and stuff, so it’s really negative when you’re away,” Federico said. “I just blank that out and focus. It doesn’t really bother me.”
Federico’s biggest concern does not lie with crowd noise or hostility, but with forgetting the miss and moving on.
He believes he is doing just fine in that regard.
“One kick shouldn’t bring your confidence level down,” Federico said. “I’m not going to let one kick ruin the season I’m looking for.”
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