Geiger's struggles continue against OSU

Michigan State kicker stuck in sophomore slump after great freshman season

A year after leading the Big Ten in field-goal percentage, Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger finds himself on the other end of that list.

The Spartans’ kicker, who made 15 of 16 attempts as a true freshman in 2013, has hit on just 8 of 14 kicks this season.

And with a 39-yard miss on Saturday in Michigan State’s 49-37 loss to Ohio State, he now has missed field goals in five straight games – all five Big Ten games for MSU.

”I felt like I got a good hit on the ball, it just stayed left,” Geiger said. “I probably could have compensated for the wind a little bit more, but the snap and hold were both there.

”I need to execute under that type of pressure. It being a close game at the time and then they turned around and scored 79 yards the next play, it definitely hit hard with me.

The missed kick came after Michigan State looked like it had taken a 28-14 lead on a rushing touchdown by Jeremy Langford, but it was called back due to a holding penalty. The Buckeyes scored on the next play after Geiger’s miss as quarterback J.T. Barrett connected with Michael Thomas for a 79-yard score to tie the game 21-21.

Senior offensive lineman Travis Jackson said he just tries to remind Geiger that everyone goes through struggles and tough times on the football field.

“You just tell him to keep your head up,” he said. “Everyone has been there. It’s a little more highlighted for him because it’s points or no points. It’s a tough position. We know he’s got the talent and he’s got the resiliency to go out there and get back on track.

”We are behind Michael Geiger 100 percent.”

Geiger came back to make a 40-yard attempt later in the game to pull MSU within 28-24 on its first drive of the second half.

"It was nice to come back and make the next kick,” he said. “I'm still disappointed about the first miss. Despite a loss, making the second helps my confidence, and I'll be looking forward to the next game.”

Langford said the Spartans are going to need Geiger as the season continues, especially in big games.

“I know he is young and I know we are going to need him in big games,” Langford said. “One game we are really going to need him a lot and I think he is going to respond.”

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