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Football

Williams Blog: Kicking woes continue

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.comPublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Kickers and golfers have a lot in common.

I’ve heard this numerous times before.

But Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads confirmed it during his Tuesday morning press conference.

“If something goes wrong with that stroke, it could be at any point in it," said Rhoads. "That has been part of it with our kickers.”

An inconsistent kicking game has become part of Iowa State’s football tradition over the last 15 years. I could go into specifics, but I care deeply about each and every one of you Cyclone Fanatics. I really don’t want to ruin your day.

Iowa State’s kicking game is about as ugly as it has ever been so far in 2011.

Not one, but two Iowa State’s two kickers have struggled mightily throughout the season’s first four games. Seniors Grant Mahoney and Zach Guyer have combine to go 2-for-6 on field goals, including Guyer missing a crucial chip shot from 29-yards in Saturday night’s loss to Texas.

“Zach got ahead of himself with his plant foot," Rhoads explained. "When your plant foot is in front of the ball, you strike it behind and the ball has a tendency to stay to the right. That’s exactly what he did."

"He (Guyer) is a professional as far as being a specialist. As many reps as he gets at that and Grant gets at that, when they line up to kick, they have to execute just like anybody else does on our football team playing at an offensive or defensive position."

Mahoney’s situation is especially frustrating because he’s been a good kicker in the past for Iowa State. Mahoney made 17 field goals as a freshman and 13 as a sophomore. Heck, he buried a 54-yarder vs. Iowa on Sept. 10. Physically, he can do the job. We’ve seen it time and time again. Guyer is unproven.

If you’re Paul Rhoads, what in the world do you do from here?

Well you know how frustrating it is when you can’t keep the golf ball in the fairway? Think about what the experts tell you. Keep your eye on the ball. Slow down your swing.

"We’ll go back to work with our routine, get a lot of good habits built as far as doing that right and then count on them to execute when the next opportunity presents itself," said Rhoads.

I’m not a very good golfer, but I have a friend who is. One day, this guy will look like a cheap imitation of Rory McIlroy. On other days, he struggles to beat me.

Hopefully for Iowa State, one of these two kickers will find that inner-McIlroy.

It hasn’t so far, but if Iowa State’s kicking game doesn’t improve, this aspect of football could start costing the Cyclones games.