Crosby Hopes To Be A Factor

Mason Crosby eschewed the NFL following his junior season to return to Boulder and finish his eligibility and education. But the 2005 Lou Groza Award finalist, surprisingly, has not been as big a factor in CU's first three games as most expected. Inside, BSN talks to the kicker.

Mason Crosby is 3 of 6 on field goals during the Buffs' 0-3 start. His three misses came from distances of 57, 61 and 63, while he's made kicks of 24, 40 and 29 yards.

But for the most part, the placekicker has been a non-factor. That's because the CU offense hasn't given him the opportunity.

The Buffs have conducted 32 drives. Those drives have resulted in two touchdowns, two turnovers, six field goal opportunities and 20 punts. (Also,twice time expired on a CU offensive drive).

Where Crosby has been a factor is on kickoffs, as he's only had one returned (23 yards) of the eight he's kicked.

On Saturday, Crosby will lining up against Georgia placekicker Brandon Coutu, considered by many to share Crosby's status as one of the best in the country. Coutu, playing for the 3-0 Bulldogs, is off to a better start than Crosby. He's hit all seven of his field goals, his longest coming from 55 yards out.

BSN spoke with Crosby Wednesday.

BSN: I'm going to guess and say the 0-3 start is not what you expected.
: Yeah, definitely. It's not what I expected. You've got to think you're to going have some rough starts with new coaches, and I knew coming back that it would be a little rough getting going. But I think the guys on the team are bonding together and saying, ‘This is our team, we're going to start winning games.'

We still have lots of goals we can reach. We haven't even started Big 12 play.

We all have the goal to win this game in Georgia. After this game if we can be 1-3, we can go into Big 12 play and have a little momentum.

BSN: As a senior captain, what have you been doing to keep the team focused on what's ahead rather than what's behind?
: I'm not real outspoken. I'm not a big hoorah guy. I'm more about just not focusing on anything negative. Just focus on the positive things. For myself, I've got to be more consistent. I've got to take care of that. That's what I tell guys – do your job and be consistent.

I think everyone understands that. For us to win, everyone's got to do their part. Everyone has to know their role. And we need to start cutting back on mistakes.

BSN: One of the things that's surprised me is that you haven't been as involved in some of the games as I would have thought you would be.
: Yeah, that's kind of surprised me. I thought, if anything, if we couldn't put the ball in the end zone like in the (August) scrimmages, I'd have a lot of kicks. I thought I'd be maybe kicking four or five a game, and kicking some closer ones. But, who knows, that might start happening, and we might start putting the ball in the end zone. It's just one of those things. You've just got to wait and see. The offense is working to get that consistency.

If they want me to kick six field goals a game and just have our defense stop people, I'll do that.

BSN: Are you looking forward to playing between the hedges?
: Yeah, it's going to be exciting getting out of here and playing somewhere else. Those SEC schools, those stadiums are so well known. It's kind of crazy. I've looked forward to playing down in Georgia since I saw them on our schedule. It's going to be one of those cool things. They have a pretty good kicker, too.

BSN: What do you think about Brandon Coutu?
: They seem to have a lot of confidence in him. And he seems to be a pretty confident guy. I've never talked to him or anything. It'll be fun. Hopefully our defense will do well. If our offense can move the ball, who knows, it could end up being a kicking duel.

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