"Going into Mississippi State, I'd never had a kick that my team had to have," Chas Henry said. "I wasn't 100% confident in that. Going into this one, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to make it and the game was over."
Henry lined up to take the kick with a one-track mind. The referee blew his whistle, confusing the focused Henry, whose eyes were only on the uprights. He looked back to see the referee signaling a timeout. Henry said he didn't know that Georgia even had a timeout and was originally caught off guard.
That caused him to look towards the Georgia sideline, where he shot a smile at Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt. The two have a previous relationship from when Georgia recruited Henry.
"I looked over (to the Georgia bench), and I started laughing," Henry said. "I'm not even the kicker, and they're going to ice me?"
The good-natured smile was delivered, but Henry saw something else out of the corner of his eye. It was Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, with hands on his throat screaming, "you're going to choke," at Henry.
"I took my helmet off and gave a little smooch at him," Henry said with a smile. "That may have been why he got a little upset."
The incident happened, and Henry drilled the field goal to give Florida a 34-31 victory in the first overtime game in the history of the series, which garnered him an estimated 80 congratulatory text messages from friends and family.
After the game, Henry claims he didn't think about what he saw from Grantham. The incident is over, and the senior doesn't think anything else should be done.
"It doesn't matter as far as repercussions from it," Henry said. "I think that's ridiculous. It's in the middle of an intense game in one of the most intense rivalries in college football. It's just football. I think it's ridiculous that people are saying he should have to apologize for it."
Henry never imagined he would be in a position to make a game-winning field goal for the Gators. That's because he was recruited as a punter. When Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury before the Alabama game, Henry offered to take over. He kicked in high school and thought he could do it again.
He also received help from former Florida kickers Judd Davis and others who spent time talking to him about kicking field goals.
"It's a little different," Henry said. "You keep the same things. It's like riding a bike, and you just have to do it again."
Now Henry's confidence couldn't be higher. The emotional swing from feeling like he cost the team a game to now believing he can make any field goal on the other team's side of the 50-yard line has turned into the exact boost he needed.
"Ninety percent of it is mental, and ten percent of it is physical," Henry said. "It's a lot like golf. Golf and kicking are similar aspects. When I missed during Mississippi State, my confidence was really low. Going into Georgia Thursday, I made everything and had players and coaches behind me. The confidence was building, and going in, I knew it was going to be my redemption week."
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