An afternoon full of rain made a sloppy field, but the University of Georgia Bulldogs had faith that their young kicker, Blair Walsh, a sophomore from Boca Raton, could knock the ball through the uprights from 37 yards away. He did so with no time left on the clock. Arizona State was beaten, and in the next few moments Walsh himself on that soggy field beneath a bunch of jubilant teammates. Walsh told the Athens-Herald:
"That was probably the greatest experience of my career here," Walsh said. "Getting ready to kick a game-winner and then going out and hitting it, there's nothing better. That dogpile after the game is probably the greatest moment of my life right now."
Walsh had been training for moments like that one. Two years ago, as a senior for Cardinal Gibbons, he was rated by some recruiting services as the nation's best high school kicker.
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But though he started last year as a freshman, Walsh struggled with his consistency hitting just 15 of 23 field goals and drawing criticism for kicking the ball out of bounds eight times last year. Walsh had to fend off a well-regarded junior college transfer to keep his job, and now he appears to have it locked up -- on the year, he's connected on all eight of his field goals.