Make no mistake: when the Tigers struggle, Brock Harvey suffers, too.
Still, the senior punter from Jefferson City gets the lion's share of the load when the offense struggles, which it did in the team's loss at Troy last Thursday. Harvey punted seven times on the night, averaging 45.3 yards per boot. He had a kick blocked, the result of an assignment error more than a mistake by Harvey.
Harvey said Monday that he was "pretty bummed out" after the season's first loss, but that he is relatively satisfied with his performance so far this season. Read on for Harvey's views on his still-healing foot, along with what Harvey considers the most important factor in becoming a consistent punter.
On his performance this season: "You never want to be satisfied with what you did, but I was pretty satisfied overall, besides that one being blocked. Take that one away, I think as far as team punting, we've done pretty good."
On lingering pain in his foot: "It's hard to pinpoint as far as pain goes. I think my technique is a little bit better this year. It's definitely there. It'll be sore. Sit around and it'll get sore."
On overcoming the pain: "It's something that I've learned to deal with. It's not gonna go away. After five years of doing this, and even in high school, everybody's gonna be playing with a bump our bruise somewhere. You just have to tolerate it."
On needing to get into a rhythm to punt well: "Not necessarily. A lot of times during that first punt, you have a lot of nerves going through you. You can say you'll calm down later in the game, but not necessarily. I've had my first punts in games be the best I've had all game. But rhythm? No."
On the most important aspect of punting: "Just preparing. The most important thing going into a game or going into a punt is preparing and knowing what you can do and being ready, comfortable and confident that your guys up front are gonna protect you and you're gonna put the ball 45 yards down the field with good hang time."
On punting when he is pinned deep in his own territory: "It's different, with more sense of urgency. You gotta understand that the ball has to get off faster. You know they're gonna be coming harder and you need to get the ball off."
On forgetting about bad punts and snaps of the past: "That's all in the past and gone and done with. You gotta trust that the guy in front of you is gonna be accountable for what we practice and what we can do. Things happen. That's part of sports and everything you do. There's mistakes made and that's just what happens in games. You gotta understand that. We just go out there with the mindset that we're gonna do it right every time."