When you don’t hear much about a team’s kicking game, that’s normally a good sign, because it usually means they didn’t botched a kick or blow the game.
Today, I want to draw attention to the Huskers kicking game, in particular Alex Henery, the 6’2 175 pound sophomore from Omaha.
Henery connected on all eight of his field goal attempts and was perfect on 45 PAT tries as a redshirt freshman. This year he was 14 of 17 on field goals and made 54 of 55 PATs. Of course, you remember him for his school record 57 yard field goal against Colorado when he hit four in that game. He’s only missed one field goal from inside of 50 yards and that was a 35 yarder early in the season against New Mexico State.
This bowl game could be one of those games where the Huskers rely heavily on the leg of Henery. The Huskers, we know about their balanced offense and their ability to move down the field, but I think the Clemson defense could be tough enough that they are one of those bend but don’t break type of defenses, especially early in the game. It could start out where NU moves the ball, but may need to settle for early field goals. That’s where Henery will come into play. Now, maybe one of the biggest differences for Henery in this bowl game will be instead of kicking off the field turf at Memorial Stadium and most Big 12 fields, he will be kicking off natural grass, but Henery says that won’t make much difference to him.
You never want to call a timeout to try to freeze a kicker especially on grass, because the good one will do a little yard maintenance with their toe and scuff the ground up a bit to create a natural tee.
Head coach Bo Pelini has been impressed with his young kicker. As a matter of fact after the season, there is a good chance that Pelini could put Henery on the team as a scholarship player.