Sturgis Almost Perfect

Statistics say that Caleb Sturgis is perfect on field goals and extra points. Nothing to scoff at when you go five for five in your first two games and have a career high 13 points in your second. But, there was a little luck involved Saturday night when one of those field goals bounced in after hitting the left post. He also has to work on his kickoffs, but those improved greatly after week one.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp has all the confidence in the world in junior kicker Caleb Sturgis and knows what he is capable of on field goals.

"When we get to the 35 we think 52 (yards) is his range," Muschamp told the media following a 39-0 win over UAB in which Sturgis scored a career high 13 points and went 3-3 on field goals. "Even beyond that in training camp to be honest with you, he kicked a 56 yarder in training camp in a one-minute drill. He gives you an awful lot of confidence with his accuracy and his leg."

Sturgis himself would rather be on the bench until the offense punches it into the end zone, but he understands that won't happen every time. This was the fourth game in his career where he has hit three field goals in the game.

"Obviously I want us to score touchdowns, but I do want to be dependable," Sturgis told the media on hand. "But, we do have a good snapper and holder and I feel like if we do get called in to do something we will at least put points on the scoreboard."

Of course perfect isn't exactly right as one of his field goals Saturday bounced off the upright and between the posts. It was a close call and Sturgis knows that it wasn't his best attempt.

"God was with me on that one," he said. "I didn't think I hit it great, I looked up and knew I didn't hit it great. When it went through I was relieved."

This was a year that may not have ever happened for the junior from St. Augustine. Sturgis missed most of last year with a back injury that occurred during weight training. Since his recovery, they strength coach Mickey Marotti and the Florida staff have changed his routine and he is about as good as new.

"My back has been feeling a lot better," he said. "Coach Mick has a plan for me and it's been really good. He's worked with the training staff and they've all done a good job."

If there was an area of focus for Sturgis that needed to be cleaned up it is kickoffs although Muschamp said he got much better in game two from game one.

"He's a guy that has done a nice job with kickoffs," Muschamp said. "We had better positioning on kickoffs as opposed to last week. That was an issue last week in coverage… where we kicked it, as much as how we covered it."

Sturgis worked hard during the week to correct mistakes in that part of the game.

"I've done okay," Sturgis said knowing it could be better. "I have definitely hurt the kickoff team where I've put it, so I work on that a lot. I am going both ways this year so I am trying to get better every day."

He had one in particular that didn't hit the spot he needed and it put Sturgis in position to have to make a possible touchdown saving tackle. That part of kickoff game is certainly not his specialty.

"I am not usually good with that, so I was really excited about getting one," he said. "I didn't put the kickoff where it was supposed to be, so I figured I better make it or I was going to get in more trouble."

Afterward, his teammates didn't even know he made the tackle, but it certainly wasn't picture perfect form in doing so.

"I don't think they noticed to be honest," he said of his teammates. "My head hurt a little after so I went off to the side. I probably took most of the blow."

Sturgis would rather boot it into the end zone which he could likely do every time, but the staff wants a positional kick so they can fly down the field and possibly pin the opponent deeper. He knows his leg is strong enough to continually poke it deep.

"That is where I want to put it," he said of kicking it deep. "…I am just hitting the ball really good. I want to hit them there every time, so I just need to have the confidence I am going to do it (when the time comes)."


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