He missed two of his three field goal attempts against West Virginia, lost the point-after kick job early against Eastern Michigan — Turner Adams made two and then missed one — and then missed his first PAT attempt against Eastern Michigan after taking the place of Adams.
McCann made his final five PAT kicks against Eastern Michigan and, against Georgia, had a perfect day with two field goals (33 yards, 46 yards) and all three of his PAT kicks.
“I’m excited that I went out there and did my job for my team,” McCann said Saturday night following the Tigers’ 28-27 loss to visiting Georgia. “I was really happy that my coaches and teammates throughout the week and every day they were telling me how I’m good and just go out there and do my thing. They have a lot of faith in me to do my job, so I really like that.”
Missouri coach Barry Odom expressed his confidence in his freshman kicker on the Monday before the Tigers played Georgia.
Asked who he would send out to attempt a 40-yard field goal to win the game, Odom said it would be McCann who would go out and drill the kick between the uprights.
“I really enjoyed that he has that confidence in me,” McCann said.
That scenario didn’t come to fruition against the Bulldogs, but McCann’s two field goals and three point-after kicks helped put the Tigers in position to win the game and the coach who expressed his confidence in the youngster was happy to see that kind of performance.
“I was excited,” Odom said on Monday at his weekly press conference. “I’ve learned my coaching methods. I’m glad I took a lot of courses on the psychology of sport because that’s helped me out in this case. I’ve gone from coaching him really, really hard to not saying anything and that seems to work. So I’ll try that one again this week. I’m excited for him. He’s got a chance to be a special player for us. Hopefully that will continue to keep showing up.”
For the season, the freshman kicker has now made three of five field goal attempts (60 percent) and eight of nine point-after kicks (88.9 percent).
“I feel good,” McCann said when asked how he feels after three games. “I feel good about doing my job. Obviously I had to learn from those misses — just little errors that I could fix throughout the week in practice and I fixed them for this week.”
Even with his early struggles, McCann has already established himself to be a valuable weapon on kickoffs. In the first three contests, 15 of his 18 attempts went for touchbacks.
“I know we’re a lot better cover team when we get a touchback than the other way,” Odom said. “We have to be careful with that because there’s a couple there where he’s line-driving it and you want some some hang time there but if you line drive it and kick it out of the end zone then we’ll take that every time.
“He’s got such a powerful leg. He asked me the other night, he said, ‘Do you want me to kick it out?’ I looked at him and was like, yeah, let’s go try kicking it out again; I like that. He’s getting into a comfortable zone. I don’t want to tell him too much because he’s got a pretty good feel for it if there’s minimal wind, if there’s a lot of wind, with where he’s going to place the ball. I’ll take our chances. Yeah, let’s go kick it out.”
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