UM football

Miami Hurricanes’ Matt Goudis is eager to put best foot forward

 

Matt Goudis is fired up about his role as UM’s No. 1 kicker, saying: ‘I’m so excited to get back on the field and be the guy.’

rnadkarni@MiamiHerald.com

Special teams, especially in college football, can be quite literally hit or miss.

Teams like Boise State or even mighty Alabama have had their fortunes change on the direction of one kick in recent seasons. Historically, Miami has been the beneficiary of some timely special teams blunders, with the phrase “wide right” coming to mind.

So even with all the focus on quarterback Stephen Morris or the Hurricanes’ potentially rising defense, the role of redshirt sophomore kicker Matt Goudis should not be understated.

Goudis is entering his third season in coach Al Golden’s program. Last season, Goudis saw his only live action, playing in three games. He recorded two kickoffs as well as one punt, which came in relief of an injured Dalton Botts against Georgia Tech.

Now, Goudis enters the 2013 season with full responsibility as Miami’s starting kicker.

“It’s amazing, I’m so excited to get back on the field and be the guy,” Goudis said.

“I can’t wait. It’s been a two-year journey to start and now, after sitting and learning for two years, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Golden praised Goudis for his conditioning entering training camp. Golden said Goudis has “more explosion in his leg” and is “in better shape than he’s ever been.”

For Goudis, despite his physical talents, experiencing as much live action as possible will be the key before the season starts. While kickers can take as many field goals as they want during training camp, simulating the pressure of game situations is tough on the practice field.

Special teams did perform well in its first taste of game-like action. During the Hurricanes’ scrimmage, Goudis hit all three of his field-goal attempts, all from at least 45 yards out. However, he missed a pair of field goals in a special teams practice on Tuesday.

“To go in the scrimmage, and go 3 for 3, I was really happy with it,” Goudis said. “Kicking is all about confidence and rhythm.”

Goudis does not intend on shying away from the pressure this season. He said his dream scenario would be to hit the game-winning kick against Florida, which visits Sun Life Stadium in the second week of the season.

Golden and the coaching staff also have attempted to elevate the stakes for Goudis during his practice kicks.

“[We] just scream loud,” Golden joked before explaining how he has prepared Goudis for the regular season. “We try to put him in stressful situations and make sure he’s embracing the moment.

“[The defense] was rushing him. We got guys yelling at him, we try to have the defense needle him. You got to make kickers callous.”

Personally, Goudis gave himself lofty goals for the season. He wants to hit 80 percent of all of his field-goal attempts, including 100 percent on all of his tries within 40 yards. Last year, Jake Wieclaw hit 76 percent of his 25 attempts and missed two kicks from 39 yards or less.

Ultimately, Golden seemed secure in letting Goudis line up for any big kicks that may come during the season, claiming to be “very confident” in his kicker’s first year as the starter.

“You can miss three [kicks], but the game will come down to the one that you make,” Golden said.

“I’m really excited about Goudis. I’m excited about his mental toughness right now and the approach that he’s taken.”

Read more UM stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tough road:</span> Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52), with Thurston Armbrister, relishes the challenge of playing in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday. ‘I can’t wait for this matchup.’

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes show no fear of going to Nebraska

    UM’s defense, better statistically this season after three games, is going into Saturday’s game against Nebraska’s explosive offense confident it can hold its own

  •  
UM quarterback Gray Crow is shown during the team's spring scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

    UM notebook

    Gray Crow moves back to quarterback for University of Miami

    “No, it’s not easy,” Golden said of Crow’s situation. “The idea behind the move back in July was give him an opportunity to play, based on our depth at quarterback. We were hoping he could help us at H-back, at fullback, at long-snapper or in some way on special teams. He talked to us [Tuesday] and we moved him back.”

  •  
FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA football game against Florida A&M in Miami Gardens, Fla. Kaaya was walking through the Miami campus earlier this week, totally unbothered and unnoticed as he strolled around Lake Osceola. Call it a rare moment of solitude for the Hurricanes' quarterback, who has been thrust into the fire as a freshman starter and is now getting ready for No. 24 Nebraska on Saturday night.

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya to face huge test at Nebraska

    With Kevin Olsen no longer at UM and Ryan Williams nearing his comeback, Kaaya says he's ready to enter hostile territory.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category