From the Portland Tribune:
Sophomore placekicker Justin Kahut, whose missed extra point and 43-yard field goal were crucial in last Thursday’s 31-28 loss at Utah, says he is dealing with the psychological ramifications of his performance.
“Everyone has bad games,” the Clackamas High grad says. “Everyone has failures in life. I’m trying to look at the positives, see what I did wrong and make changes.
“After (Monday’s) practice, I feel a lot more confident in my kicking. I made a couple of little changes. There are several things that went wrong (at Utah). I probably lifted my head up a little quick on the missed kicks. I didn’t like the angle I was coming at the ball. The corrections I’ve made should help.”
The hip flexor that contributed to three missed field goal attempts in the first half of the 45-7 win over Hawaii wasn’t a factor at Utah and won’t be Saturday, Kahut says.
“I’m feeling good, real close to 100 percent,” he says. “It’s still healing, but I don’t feel any pain anymore when I kick.”
Kahut says he was a little worried about reaction from teammates when he returned to the locker room after the Utah game.
“But we have a bunch of great guys on this team,” Kahut says. “Nobody was pointing fingers. It was actually a really nice atmosphere after the game.”
Kahut says his first phone call after the Utah game was to former OSU kicker Alexis Serna, who went through his own adversity at the onset of his career. Serna’s three missed conversions cost Oregon State dearly in a 22-21 overtime-loss at third-ranked Louisiana State in the first game of Serna’s freshman year. He went on to a storied career and won the Groza Award as the top kicker in the nation.
Serna and Kahut roomed together last season, and Serna – now with the Canadian Football League Winnipeg Blue Bombers – has been a mentor to Kahut.
“We talked about (the LSU game) a lot, even before” the Utah game, Kahut says. “When we talked (last Thursday), we went through the whole thing. He just told me to keep my head up. It happens. You can turn it around. He’s proof of it.”
Riley says he hasn’t lost confidence in Kahut.
“He just has to kick the ball and let it fly,” the OSU coach says. “He may have been overcompensating by being a little careful, and that’s a bad thing to do. But he’s a very conscientious kid with a lot of ability. I still believe he will be a very good kicker for the Beavers.”
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Posted by Webmaster at 7:26 PM