College Kickers is less reliable than usual this year

It was the opening week of the 2022 NFL season One to forget kickers: Included six missed attempts to win the game, including a Pork Fist 64 Yard Prayer and your dunk is amazingPart of the worst week to kick a clutch At least 22 years old (According to a report from athlete Mike Sandow.) But even the historically horrific display of professional kickers couldn’t quite live up to the horrific level of stray kicks set on college campuses across the country.

College football fans were treated to hundreds of kick attempts until mid-September, and many wish they hadn’t. Some attempts didn’t get the chance, like when LSU did a drama Scoring drive 99 yards In the last minute of his game against Florida, only to be snagged an extra tie-point with no time left. Others have either sliced ​​wide – watch East Carolina Failed chance to turn number 13 North Carolina After losing an extra point attempt to tie the game and a field goal from 41 yards in The last three minutes – Or they fell into oblivion, like 20 yard field goal attempt From Texas at the end of the first half against Alabama. (The latter loomed large when the Longhorns lost by one point to the No. 1 Crimson Tide.) Then there was Baylor and BYU, who combined to miss three field shots. Less than 45 yards In the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime from the September 10 match.1

Sure, kicker is an easy punching bag for college football fans. Lost one close? Blame the kicker. Your software is going in the wrong direction? A crafted kick would surely have helped. There will always be someone around to say “You had one job!” When the kick is deviated from its course. But this season, the kicks have been really obnoxious – even by usually watered-down football standards.2

In the second half and overtime for one-ball games so far this year, the footballers in the soccer division have been 82 for just 122 (67.2 percent), their worst success rate since 2011. Kickers are 9 to 18 (50 in per cent) on field goal attempts scored in the last minute of organizing such games, down significantly from the 66.9 per cent average in the qualifying period. The Kickers have converted only five of their 10 last-minute lightning attempts so far this season.

Homeland friendly borders were only this season. The home team’s kickers convert only 73.6 percent of kicks, their second-worst rate in three games in the past five seasons. Fast forward to the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, and the rate drops to 52.6 (10 of 19) percent — by far the lowest in three games of the playoff era, where the pass rate was 75 percent from 2014 through 2021.

Perhaps surprisingly, road kicks have actually done so well, making 73.4 percent of kicks in three games, their second highest rate in any one season since at least 2004 (the first season for which data is available). But that wasn’t enough to save the overall numbers, especially on the more important kicks.

In turn, it plays a role in the reputation that the kicking game is particularly unreliable in college – and we can see why this stereotype exists. Keep in mind that, even after a cold first week, NFL strikers still manage kicks 14 percentage points higher than college balls, despite their average kick coming 3.7 yards off the goalposts.

Professional kickers do it better

Average field goal attempt distance and pass rate for kickers in college football and the NFL, 2014-2022

season College NFL College NFL
2014 35.1 37.6 72.1% 84.0%
2015 35.3 38.2 73.7 84.5
2016 34.9 37.7 74.9 84.2
2017 35.3 38.1 73.0 84.3
2018 35.5 38.5 73.5 84.7
2019 35.7 38.2 74.9 81.6
2020 36.4 38.9 73.3 84.6
2021 36.1 38.6 75.2 85.1
2022 36.1 39.9 73.1 86.4

Until September 19, 2022.

Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group

In fact, professional kickers have converted field goals at least 6.7 percentage points higher than in the best college dropout season since 2014.

However, the good news for college colleges is that – just like their professional counterparts – their accuracy usually improves as the season develops. So they probably won’t continue to be so bad all year long.

Kicking gets better with time and practice

Field goal success rates for college football players in their team’s first three games of the season and over the course of the remaining season, 2014-2022

season The first 3 matches rest of the season the difference.
2014 69.6% 72.9% + 3.3%
2015 74.4 73.5 -0.9
2016 73.6 75.3 +1.7
2017 71.1 73.6 +2.5
2018 73.3 73.6 +0.3
2019 74.2 75.1 +0.9
2020 71.4 74.3 +2.9
2021 75.5 75.0 -0.5
2022 73.3
Average 72.9 74.2 +1.3

Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group

But kicking in college will never be as reliable as we used to see it in the NFL — even when professional kickers are at their worst. The lower level of skill and performance means that you see more unusual things in the college game: miss positions by 20 yards; Struggling to get a good hold in prime time; Draw extra point attempts Almost netting. And so far this season, we’ve been kicking bats way more weird than usual, especially as the moment gets bigger and nerves start to take over.