Football Freshman Looking For Better Game Two

For a new member of the Auburn football team, Saturday night's game vs. Georgia Tech was not the way he wanted to kick off the season.

Auburn, Ala.--Zach Kutch was the only true freshman who played for Auburn on opening night and he was the first Tiger to make a play for the 2005 football season.

Unfortunately for Kutch and the Tigers, it wasn't the kind of play they wanted to see.

The kicker from Milton, Fla., High School got the kickoff assignment and with Auburn winning the toss and deferring the option to receive to the second half, Kutch was given the football to kickoff to open the game with more than 87,000 fans in the stands and a national television audience watching.

"When I got out there I wasn't nervous at all, but when the ball fell off the tee I got real nervous," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I was like man. It kind of threw me off my game. I didn't hit the ball solid at all and it went out of bounds."

The Yellow Jackets took the ball at the 35-yard line and used the good field position to drive for touchdown and they never trailed on the way to a 23-14 victory.

"It was way different from high school," Kutch says of his first college game. "I really wasn't sure what to expect even though I had watched college games and people tell you about them. When you get out there it is hard to explain."

Kutch is also Auburn's backup field goal kicker.

Several more true freshmen could join Kutch on the field this week when the Tigers open SEC play with an 11:30 a.m. home game vs. the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Wide receiver Robert Dunn could play for the Tigers and Sen'Derrick Marks may see action at defensive tackle.

Auburn will be going for its fifth straight victory against the Bulldogs. Special teams coach Eddie Gran says he expects Kutch to kick the ball deeper and straighter in game two because he has done that consistently in practice.

Kutch has the same expectations. "I didn't hit the ball like I usually hit the ball," he says. "I plan to learn from my mistakes. I am working hard this week in practice and this Saturday I plan to go out there and show them what I can really do.

"To be successful I just have to do my thing--not speed up, but stay nice, relaxed and easy and come through and hit the ball like I can. It's kind of like a golf swing. Don't speed it up--stay nice and smooth the whole time."


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