October 22, 2008
Not that it's needed one or three points to win a game, yet, but Texas Tech's kicking situation has been rough, to say the least: the Raiders have gone through two kickers, Donnie Carona and Cory Fowler, who have missed four missed field goals and six extra points in seven games. That's not acceptable -- even Tech has to win on field goals occasionally, as now-departed Alex Trlica (right) proved in back-to-back bowl wins on the final play -- and as only appropriate for a Mike Leach outfit, there's a better-than-even chance the competition will get a little weirder this week in the form of one Matt Williams:
Williams, you may recall, is the Tarleton State transfer student who won a month's worth of rent at the Tech/UMass game several weeks ago by kicking a 30-yard field goal. After his successful try, Williams was walking back to his seat when he was flagged down.
"They relayed a message to me saying that Coach [Mike] Leach wanted to talk to me," explained Williams to RedRaiderSports.com the next day. "He told me to come into his office on Tuesday and talk to him, and then Coach [Clay] McGuire told me to come and speak with him on Monday."
Initially, it was thought that Williams was ineligible this season due to transfer rules but according to McGuire, who heads up the Red Raiders' special teams unit, he has been cleared to play.
"I've seen that guy [Williams] try one kick," added Leach. "But the difference between his and the others is that they barely got off the ground. His got up right away."
If you're going to pull a kid out of the stands to play any position, it's kicker -- Boston College pulled its briefly famous Sid Vicious from the student section in 2006, with pretty good results -- and Williams has "got a real good shot," according to McGuire. And why not? Like any good captain whose crew isn't performing, Leach boots the scalawags overboard and picks up new men at the next port. Or the next kick-for-tuition contest. Same thing.