Ohliger Trying to Kick WFU Game

<B>Ryan Ohliger</b>, BC's now infamous kicker, endured one of those days last Saturday that is inevitable in the life of a freshman placekicker. He talks about moving past his three-miss performance and the encouragement of his teammates that has helped him along.

The first kick had the distance but was wide left. The second kick was the football equivalent of "chunking" a golf ball. The third one, a 27-yard chip shot, sailed wide right.

Ryan Ohliger, after going 2-2 against the University of Connecticut on September 17, turned in an 0-3 performance against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

"It's been a tough last couple of days for me," said the freshman kicker from the Tatnall School in Delaware. "I knew the time would come where I'd miss, but I didn't think I'd miss three in a row."

Ohliger's first two misses came in the opening quarter of play, and each kick would have made the score 3-0. Once the first two failed to go through the uprights, the kicker's fragile confidence seemed to be shattered.

"I turned into a head case," said Ohliger, referring to his first two misses. "I was thinking way too much out there."

On his third kick, a play that could have given BC a 17-10 lead with just minutes remaining, he pushed the kick right. He noted that the wind didn't move the ball, it just made him over think the kick.

It's tough being a kicker at any level, and Ohliger found this out the hard way.

"People love you or hate you; you're either a hero or you do what I did."

He stated that he hasn't slept much the past few days; on the team flight home he didn't look anyone in the eye. He kept his hat low over his eyes. But his teammates have offered words of encouragement.

"I told him, 'Listen, don't worry about it', said tight end Dave Kashetta. "'We need you next week.'"

Saturday afternoon Ohliger has a shot to get back on track against the UMass Minutemen, a division 1-AA opponent.

"Once I get out there and kick the ball off or kick and extra point I think the confidence will be right back there," said a confident Ohliger on Wednesday afternoon.

Perhaps not this weekend, but there would be no better way for the freshman kicker to atone for his performance than to kick a game-winner in South Bend or Morgantown.

"I hope to get the opportunity to do that," said Ohliger.

BC fans hope the freshman's fragile confidence is not completely shattered.


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