Sports

Hold school: Perfection's not as easy as it looks

Field goal attempts may look simple when you're watching a game, but Northwestern's specialists say there's much more than meets the eye.

That goes double if the weather isn't cooperating.

"If it's raining, it's terrible," holder Brandon Williams said. "Cold hands is probably the other worst thing. My redshirt freshman year, I dropped a hold in the bowl game because my hands were just cold."

Williams and his teammates broke down the formula for the perfect attempt.

Step 1: The snap

Long snapper Pat Hickey

"I try to aim [the snap] between [holder Brandon Williams'] knee and the middle of his body. You don't want to keep it outside because that can affect the kick, so [I'm] just trying to make sure everything's really smooth and fluid in the process and getting the ball where it needs to be so [kicker] Jeff Budzien won't have to hesitate."

Step 2: The hold

Holder Brandon Williams

"We've got to the point where I almost always catch it with the laces already out so I don't have to spin it very much, which is huge because obviously that's the hardest part. Then really, my left hand already marked the spot, my knee is in a position that my elbow just goes to my knee, my hand just goes to the spot and just make sure the laces are spun perfectly out and the ball is tilted perfect. Jeff has told me what he wants."

Step 3: The kick

Kicker Jeff Budzien

"Clearly when the laces are out, it's a little easier to see and make good contact. I'd prefer when it's already vertically up to tilt a little bit to Brandon, maybe like 5 or 10 degrees, and that just lets my foot angle and the ball make a 90-degree angle, which makes it go straighter. It's just a little thing that Brandon's picked up."

Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field
    Construction ongoing at Wrigley Field

    From bleachers to structural details, work to renovate Wrigley Field continues.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.

Comments
Loading