The stats are easy to look up, and a bit "painful" to remember.
The Rebel placekickers combined last year to hit just 50% of their field goal tries. Ten of twenty, to be exact.
Ole Miss' coaches tried three placekickers during the year and all three ended with identical percetages - ironically, 50%.
Matt Hinkle was 5-10, Robert Bass 2-4 and Will Moseley 3-6.
"It wasn't a very productive year for us," said Moseley. "We were inconsistent and never seemed to get in a real groove."
Moseley, a rising senior from Bailey, MS, via East Mississippi Community College, has his sites set on making sure 2006 is not a repeat of 2005.
"As a group and individually, we've worked hard on getting better," Will, an Honor Roll Student who plans on being a financial advisor when his college career is up, noted. "I think we improved a lot in spring."
Improvement in practice, however, is not the main issue.
"We kicked the ball better in practices last year than we did in games. Our job this year is to translate what we do in practice to the games," said Moseley, who is well-known by Rebel fans as one of the better kickoff men in the SEC. "We not only had physical work to do in spring, we had mental work to do."
There it is. Confidence and comfort - key ingredients to successful placekicking. With it, the uprights seem to be 50 yards wide. Without it, it seems the ball will barely fit through the goalposts.
"I know I can do it physically. What I had to work on in spring, and continue working on, is relaxing and being confident and comfortable," Moseley, who ended spring as number one at the PK slot, added. "The results of spring were good. I felt a lot more comfortable and I built my confidence up. I had some practices where I didn't miss any and days like those are good for your psyche."
Will has to do battle on a daily basis with something within. He's a perfectionist on and off the field. While that is a good trait in a lot of ways, it can be overwhelming at times and add to the pressure of the moment.
"I worked very hard in spring on relaxation and trying not to think about the situation too much. You are a better kicker when you can just relax and do what you've done a million times before," he continued. "I focused on not letting being a perfectionist get in the way and I believe I made progress in that area."
Moseley, who also punted for the Rebs last year until freshman Rob Park was ready to take over the job, would like to handle kickoffs, field goals and PATs his senior season and hold on to all those duties the whole year.
"I think it's better when one guy can do all of placements and I hope I'm that guy," he stated. "But I have some stiff competition out there. Matt, Robert, Justin (Sparks, who redshirted last season) are working hard and doing a good job. We're getting a freshman (Joshua Shene) in here who has good credentials. We're just going to do our best and see what surfaces."
Placement Holder Park returns for his second year, but the deep snapper slot, vacated by Sidney McLaurin's graduation, is up for grabs.
"It's important we get that solidified," said Moseley. "There's more to a field goal than the placekicker. You have to have great protection, a good snap and a good hold or the whole thing goes haywire. We've got some new snappers in here that we are starting to work with and we're all anxious to see who emerges as the best."
Will's goal for August and beyond are lofty.
"As a kicker, you hve to believe you can make everything inside the 40 yard line and 80% of the kicks beyond. If you do that, you will be an All-American, but that should always be your goal," he said.
Regardless of who wins the job, Will expects improvement in 2006.
"None of us had kicked before 60,000 before. I think we are all adjusted to that now - been there and done that," he closed. "I look for us to be a lot better in 2006."
That's the plan - and the hope.
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