Crosby Joins Elite Company

When Mason Crosby kicked the 58-yarder in the Orange Bowl vs. Miami on Saturday, he joined some elite company. NFL greats Tom Dempsey and Morten Anderson are believed to be the only kickers to have kicked longer field goals at sea level in an NFL or NCAA I-A game without using a tee.

According to CU sports information director Dave Plati, Mason Crosby's 58-yard field goal on Saturday vs. Miami ties for the fifth-longest field goal at sea level in NFL and NCAA 1-A history. It's the third-longest mark at sea level without using a tee. All kicks after 1988 were without a tee.

Only NFLers Tom Dempsey (1970, NO vs. Detroit in New Orleans, 63 yards) and Morten Anderson (1991, NO vs. Chicago in New Orleans, 60 yards) have longer field goals at sea level. For the record, Miami is listed at 7 feet above sea level, New Orleans at 3 feet above sea level.

Crosby's kick in the third quarter of Saturday's game were CU's only points in the 23-3 loss.

"It's pretty cool, I guess," Crosby said after Tuesday's practice about the rare feat. "I just wish we had won the game. It would have meant a lot more. That's basically why I kick, to score points so we can win games."

Crosby earned the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for the effort, his second such honor in this young season. The junior also earned the Lou Groza Stars of the Week notice, along with two other college players, for the second time this fall.

Those accolades came despite the fact Crosby missed a 28-yarder at the end of CU's initial drive in the first quarter.

Despite all the attention he's getting, Crosby said Tuesday he's not thinking about entering the NFL Draft a year early. Though he didn't completely shut the door to the idea.

"I haven't really thought any more about that," he said. "I'm just staying with this season, and we'll see what happens after that. But, I mean, I think I need two more years to get ready. I can't be missing 28-yarders and doing stuff like that."

Over the years, Plati has been given the charge of promoting the feats of CU kickers and punters, which often means working against the popular notion that punters and kickers have an easier time putting up gaudy numbers playing at altitude.

In his weekly notes, the longtime CU SID writes: "Seeing how (Crosby) has now accomplished something most kickers who kick at lower altitudes historically never do (kick 58-yarders), this should once and for all end the altitude arguments used against CU kickers and punters when it comes to All-America and trophy consideration."

On Tuesday, Crosby said he felt a difference kicking at sea level than in the mile-high air at Folsom Field. But the difference wasn't in distance.

"In the thin air up here if you hit the ball a little harder sometimes, it'll move different," Crosby said. "The ball kind of shifts direction a little more. Down there, I felt like no matter how I hit it, the ball went straight on a line. I didn't really have much movement in it.

"Sometimes I get a little hook up here. On that 28-yarder, it just went straight. It didn't have any movement on it."

After he had missed the chip shot, Crosby said he felt like he didn't get a good swipe at the 58-yarder.

"I kind of feel like I slapped it a little," he said. "But once I looked up I was actually surprised at how it was going. And right when I looked up, there was a (Miami defender) right in front of me. I don't know how they didn't block it. …I guess it was just meant to be."

Both Brian Daniels and Joel Klatt practiced Tuesday. Daniels, who suffered a rib and kidney injury in Game 1, was cleared earlier Tuesday to practice in the afternoon's full-contact practice. Gary Barnett said Tuesday afternoon if Daniels was cleared, he would play Saturday. .. Freshman cornerback Ben Burney was back after being out with mono, Barnett said.

Word Monday was guard Jack Tipton (ankle) was probable to play Saturday. Now it looks as though he's doubtful. He did not participate fully in Tuesday's practice and was wearing a boot.

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