By Rixon Lane
Everyone remembers the blocked kick against Florida that turned the momentum in Saturday’s game.
But what you might not have known is that South Carolina has been tormenting opposing kickers all season long.
South Carolina’s opponents have missed nine out of 22 field goal attempts this season. Here’s a breakdown of those kickers who missed against the Gamecocks:
Kicker Team FGA/FGM Misses vs. South Carolina
Warren Harvey East Carolina 9/16 1
Marshall Morgan Georgia 10/13 2
Tommy Openshaw Vanderbilt 7/9 1
Andrew Baggett Missouri 11/16 1
Hunter Townes Furman 1/3 1
Aaron Medley Tennessee 16/22 2
Frankie Velez Florida 12/14 1
A few things stand out about these numbers:
-An opponent has missed a kick in all five of South Carolina’s wins. If you see South Alabama going for it on fourth down in Gamecock territory, now you know why.
-Two of Marshall Morgan’s three misses this year came against the Gamecocks. After he set the SEC record for consecutive made field goals. Seriously, how did South Carolina beat Georgia?
-Tommy Openshaw and Frankie Velez have missed two kicks against South Carolina and two in their other 17 combined games. Both were blocked.
-The curse extends to backup kickers. Jon Croft Hollingsworth, Furman’s starting kicker, wasn’t given a chance against the Gamecocks.
-No team this season has attempted multiple field goals against the Gamecocks without missing at least one. Texas A&M and Kentucky both went 1-for-1 and Auburn never attempted a field goal.
So, if the Jaguars or Tigers trot out their kickers over the next two weekends, don’t look away.
The fate of the game might be sailing towards the goalposts.