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MSU kicker putting his best foot forward

By Kane O'Neill, KTVM Sports, koneill@ktvm.com
Published On: Oct 09 2013 09:15:29 PM MDT

As MSU heads into their bye week, the team will have plenty of time to relax and watch lots and lots of film. One thing they'll see on Saturday's game tape is the improvement of the special teams and senior kicker Rory Perez.

Perez struggled early in the year, going 4-9 on his field goal attempts prior to last weekends game against Northern Arizona. On Saturday Rory went 3 for 3, hitting his longest field goal of the year from 45 yards out.


"I was focused  from Thursday on," said Perez.  "I was just dedicated. I needed a good game and went out there and performed."

His first perfect game of the season served as a big confidence booster, though the team says the blame for the missed kicks shouldn't fall solely on Rory's shoulders.

"I don't think Rory struggled," said MSU special teams coach Daniel DaPrato. "We've had a couple tough field goals at the end of halves and some situations where they're not as easy of kicks for Rory. Now we've got him in situations with a good snap and a good hold."

"We put him in some tough spots," said MSU head coach Rob Ash. "I think his misses prior to Saturday we're over 50 yards. We just hadn't gotten him some good, slow softballs down the middle that he could hit out of the park."

The team looked to be losing some confidence in his foot as they began running the swinging gate, a fake field goal attempt, rather than attempting field goals. The team now says they want to give Rory more attempts, but won't completely take it out of the play book.

"We may try the swinging gate a little bit less moving forward," Ash said. "But we're not gonna abandon it completely. I still like a lot of it."

"Look how many times it worked," said Perez. "I think we've done it 10-12 times. It adds points. It's demoralizing to a defense to go out there and give up another two point."

With Rory's first perfect performance Saturday he's hoping to get a little bit more when the team faces Weber.

"I want to at least get, maybe not a touchdown, but a two-point conversion just to walk into the end-zone with the ball," Rory laughed. "That's one of my dreams."

"He seems to like that a lot," Ash said after hearing Rory's wish. "I didn't realize it was quite so important for him but now I know. We'll try to see if we can dial one up for Rory Perez."

They'll have some time to plan that out as their next game isn't until October 19th at Weber State.