Smith: "This is what you dream about"

The Nebraska senior walk-on transfer nailed the biggest kick of his career - calling it a dream come true.

Not only was the 11-man front against him, the conditions weren't ideal and even his teammates weren't helping the situation. Yet none of that prevented Pat Smith from drilling a game-winning field goal to give Nebraska the 23-20 overtime win over Penn State early Saturday evening.

The odds were stacked against Smith as he went out for a 42-yard field goal attempt minutes after Penn State's Sam Ficken failed on an attempt five yards closer than his. With winds in the upper 20s, the temperature barely hovering above 10 degrees, and traces of snow lining the field, it was far from being friendly confines for a kicker.

But Smith, who is in his first year at Nebraska after transferring to the program and walking on, didn't shy away from the moment.

"This is what you dream about," said Smith following the thrilling victory. "This is why I transferred to Nebraska for my final year of eligibility. It is those kinds of moments that I have been dreaming about ever since I made the decision to do it and it is truly unbelievable."

In addition to the blustery conditions, Smith also had to overcome a false start penalty after his original kick from 37-yards out sailed through the uprights in what would have won his team the game. This took place after Penn State called a timeout to ice him.

"It's not how you script it," stated Smith. "Now how you write it up, but at the same time, the guys kind of turned around and had a worried look on their face. They are like ‘Oh no, you just made it and now you have do it again,' and so I just kind of told them, ‘Hey guys, calm down, chill out, I got this.'"

On the second attempt, the snap came back, the hold was set perfectly and Smith got all of it. Yet, he wasn't quite sure if it was going in right away. With a few breaks in between his eventual game-winning kick, Smith admits his foot was pretty cold on the final play.

"You know most of the time and pretty much as soon as you hit it," said Smith in reference to how the ball feels on a successful kick. "But on a day like today, with the way the wind was and how cold it was, you really could not get the feel right off your foot because your foot is numb."

Through a frozen foot, a false start and around 90,000 Penn State fans rooting against him on their team's Senior Day, Smith rose to the occasion in what will be a moment he never forgets.

"It is something I will remember for the rest of my life," remarked Smith. "Going out there for that last kick, a lot of guys have been asking me so far ‘They iced you, were you nervous?' and no I was pumped up. Those are the moments we live for. That is the best scenario you could ever imagine. I have been wanting one all year."


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Following his clinching kick, which moved Nebraska to 8-3 on the season, Smith was congratulated by his teammates before beginning his celebratory crazed run around the field with his fellow Huskers.

"The emotions of the moment kind of take over at that point," recalled Smith. "You are just running around like a chicken with your head cut off, just having fun. In that moment, you cannot even think. You are just enjoying it."

."This is what I live for. This is why I am here. This is what I want."

Uploaded by Josh Harvey


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