McAfee Moves On

West Virginia kicker Pat McAfee is moving on after the loss at Colorado.

On fourth and short in the first overtime last Thursday night, West Virginia kicker Pat McAfee trotted out onto the field looking to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game with his 23-yard field goal attempt.

Instead, the kick clanged off the left upright at Folsom Field, opening the door for Colorado's win, sending West Virginia to its second consecutive loss.

With that in mind, it would be understandable if McAfee, a senior, were still hung up on the play, which was just one of many to not go West Virginia's way on the night.

And, for a few days, that was certainly the case.

"The game was Thursday, and we had Friday off," McAfee recalled. "We traveled back through the night and didn't get back until like 8:30 (Friday morning). I didn't sleep the whole trip home. I was miserable. We had all day to sleep and then we had Saturday off, so we didn't get back here until Sunday. I had those two days of just miserableness. I think that was the worst, but that's helped me move on. I thought about it all that I could, and I think that if I thought about it more, I'd leave town."

Sunday's practice, a light workout prior to another off day on Monday, did not include any kicking on the field. On the sideline, McAfee was able to get some reps in using the kicking net, but it wasn't until Tuesday that he finally lined up on the field for his first real kick since the miss at Colorado. And once he did, the heartache and turmoil associated with the miss was officially in the rear-view mirror.

"Today was the first time we got to kick on the field again, and it was nice to do," said McAfee on Tuesday night. "It was nice to be back out there with (holder Jeremy) Kash and (long snapper Adam) Hughes.

"I always like doing my part, and it sucks that I didn't do my part," he said. "I felt like I kind of let down the team. But, oh well. Next week is a new week. I'm moving on."

McAfee certainly did plenty to give West Virginia a chance to win in Boulder, as his booming kickoffs deep into the end zone and high, arching punts were a large part of why dangerous CU returnman Josh Smith was largely ineffective in the return game against WVU.

It was the kick, however, which McAfee most remembered from the game. Now, though, he's let it go.

"I felt terrible, mostly for my teammates," he said. "I felt bad for the offense, the defense. It was a missed kicked. I thought I hit it well. As soon as I hit it, I thought it would go in…then it clanked. It sucked, but I'm moving on."

"I think being a kicker in those kinds of pressure situations is one of the hardest positions to play in the sport," said senior linebacker Reed Williams, who shares an apartment with McAfee. ". I wouldn't have anybody else in that position to make that kick for me. You know, things happen. We'll be there to pick him up when he needs it, and we'll be there to celebrate with him when he makes the next game winner."


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