Nov 1, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils place kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) celebrates after kicking the game winning 36 yard field goal during overtime to beat the Utah Utes 19-16 at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Kickers are people too, believe it or not. As are punters and long snappers. I know, shocker! After breaking down Arizona State’s offense and defense over the past week, we now take a closer look at the Arizona State special teams members.
Zane Gonzalez has been a solid contributor as the team’s primary kicker since his true freshman year two years ago. Gonzalez was 25-for-30 in his freshman year and 22-for-27 last season. His 25 made field goals in his first season led all Division I kickers and the 22 field goals his sophomore year was good enough for seventh in the nation. He has also gone 113-for-117 on extra point attempts in his career.
Matt Haack returns for his junior season as Arizona State’s punter after two terrific years so far. In his freshman year he averaged 38.3 yards per punt and improved on that number last year by upping it to 43.3 yards per punt.
Whether it be nailing a clutch field goal, like Gonzalez did in overtime against Utah last year, or setting up fabulous field position time-and-time again like Haack does the kicking game can go a long way toward a team’s success. Arizona State is lucky enough to possess both a great kicker and a great punter.