Q&A with John Corbello

The Tigers' kicker talks about the upcoming game with his hometown ULL Ragin' Cajuns. He also discusses his approach to field goals and kickoffs.

Q: What kind of feedback are you getting from back home in Lafayette about the LSU-ULL game?

A: Ever since the game got scheduled...one of my more-Cajun friends has called me at least once a week and has talked trash about how UL is going to beat us. I told him he could stay at my house if we won. If we lost, he's going to have to hitch-hike back home.


Q: So your family is all LSU? Do you have any relatives at ULL?

A: My sister is actually the assistant soccer coach at UL. She's played there the last two years and now she's coaching.


Q: How does she feel about it?

A: She's pulling for LSU, of course. I might get her in trouble saying that unless she's lying to me. She knows a lot of those guys (football players). I know a few of them. She wants them to play well, and everybody wants a good game. But I'd like to win.


Q:  So you've been hearing about this since the game was scheduled?

A: It's been building more and more. We had to play Mississippi State before them and before that Miami of Ohio. This is a homecoming game. We'd like to win this one. We have improving to do from last week. Everybody can work on different things, and hopefully we can get a big win and get better for Florida.


Q: Do you like playing this game personally?

A: I'm happy we're playing it after a few games because I'd be a little more nervous if we were playing it at the beginning of the season without any games under our belt. We've played Mississippi State and I think we're on a good roll now. We should improve.


Q: Have you had any experience with the ugly side of the LSU-ULL rivalry, like what happened between the baseball teams?

A: Of course. UL people are just like LSU people – they're always right like we're always right. I went to more USL football game when I was little, then I only went to two LSU games. I saw (USL) when they beat Texas A&M and they refer to that constantly. It was a good game. I'm not going to forget it.

As far as other sports, we're going to argue about it every time I go home. I don't really think about it personally.


Q: Were you cheering for the Cajuns when they beat Texas A&M?

A: Yeah, I was excited for them. I really didn't know anything about football at the time.


Q: Were you happy to see the penalty flag on the field goal you missed?

A: I was happy about that.


Q: What happened on that?

A: It was a tough angle. In a perfect world, I'd like to take a five-yard penalty and kick it from a better angle. That's something I never really worked on. That was a wake-up call so today I'm going to practice a lot of short field goals from the sides.


Q: On kickoffs, do you give up some height to get it all the way to the goal line?

A: I never kick the ball down the field. If I kick down the middle of the field and it lands on the hash, I'm in trouble. I try to get it on the corner, try to get it on the goal line in the corner, try to get a 4-second hang time.

…I have to stand the same whether I'm kicking it to the left or to the right. It's kind of tough because it's really just a judgment call. I hate to send one out of bounds when I'm trying to disguise where I'm kicking. It's just some of the things I need to work on.

I don't think too many teams do it. But if we could get it down, it would help us out.


Q: So you could kick it to the goal line if you wanted to?

A: If I could put the ball in the middle of the field and kick it straight down the field, I'd be pretty successful at kicking it out of the end zone.


Q: But touchbacks aren't really a goal.

A: No, we have a good coverage team. A touchback is only on the 20. In every other game but Mississippi State, we were getting them tackled on the 15. It helps our defense out when they're starting on the 10-yard line...


Q: So you have to get it close to the corner, but if you kick it out of bounds you get screamed at.

A: If it's a yard from going out of bounds, it's a great kick. If it goes out of bounds, it's terrible. I had no business kicking it that far over.

That just comes with the territory. You've got to flirt with it a little bit.


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