Kickers can often be an afterthought for college football fans — until the game is on the line.
And then a kicker is either a hero or a scapegoat. There’s no in between when it comes to game-winning field goals.
The Tennessee Vols are fortunate to have a pretty good placekicker in senior Brent Cimaglia.
In 2019, Cimaglia, who is affectionately known as Automaglia Cimaglia by fans, made 23-of-27 field goals (including a 51-yard and 53-yard field goal).
According to UTSports.com, Cimaglia’s 85.2 percentage ranked No. 2 in the SEC and was the best among kickers who attempted more than 20 field goals.
Cimaglia also converted all 35 of his extra point opportunities.
In other words, he was as clutch as it gets.
But how far can Cimaglia kick it with the game on the line? Where does he need the ball to feel confident in his ability to kick a game-winning field goal?
According to the man himself, he just needs the ball across the 50
“I tell Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt every game day, ‘ ‘Cross the 50 and I’m good.’ I want to attempt it,” said Cimaglia to reporters this week.
“I’m very confident in the field goal unit from snap to hold, that we’ll get it down and wherever we attempt it, we’ll make it. I did hit one from 60 at Neyland last week.”
The question, of course, is whether or not Pruitt would be confident in Cimaglia from 60 yards out.
I’m sure Pruitt is hoping he doesn’t have to make that decision. But if it comes down to it, at least he has some options if the Vols are down late in the game and have the ball across the 50.
Featured image via Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports