Branstetter Shatters Previous Career-Long Field Goal Record

Oct. 24, 2009


Kansas kicker Jacob Branstetter may have been a little disappointed when he was snapped the ball directly and asked to pooch punt at the start of the second quarter.

The 49-yard field goal attempt that turned into a pooch punt would have been his longest attempt on the season.

“I was disappointed after the punt, happy that we downed the ball inside the five, happy that I executed the punt well, but I was disappointed,” Branstetter said.

Late in the quarter Branstetter was given his chance to shine.

To avoid a shutout in the first half, Branstetter kicked a 39-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the half, making it a 14-3 game.

Driving with one minute left in the half, Sooners’ quarterback Landry Jones forced a pass into a crowded secondary where cornerback Ryan Murphy awaited the pass and brought in his second interception of the season. Murphy’s interception set up Branstetter’s second field goal attempt of the half.

Branstetter said he knew that once the offense got the ball back and got within field goal range that he would have a chance.

“I felt like the way I had been kicking the ball in practice and the last couple of games I had been really hitting the ball really solid,” Branstetter said.

With the wind blowing north and behind his back, Branstetter jogged onto the field for his second attempt in two minutes and was asked to kick a 57-yarder to end the half.

Once the ball left his foot, Branstetter knew that it had enough distance. The kick stayed left and cleared the uprights.

“When it stayed in there, I went nuts,” Branstetter said.

After seeing it go through, the ecstatic Branstetter celebrated by sprinting to the locker room, where he said he was the first one to arrive.

“I think that’s the craziest I’ve ever left a field or craziest celebration I’ve ever had,” said Branstetter. “I was trying to think, don’t get hurt on your celebration. Everyone likes to make fun of the kickers that get hurt when they’re celebrating, I was like, don’t trip and fall.”

The 57-yard field goal was the longest field goal of Branstetter’s career and tied for the fourth longest in KU history. Branstetter said he was hoping that the longest kick of his career would have been a game-changing play heading into halftime trailing just 14-6.

“At the time I really thought it was going to be a big momentum boost and that’s what I was hoping for,” Branstetter said. “It’s a little disappointing that we didn’t play better in the second half and maybe get a W, but it was a good kick.”

Since the UTEP game where Branstetter had his only two misses of the season, he has gone 6-for-6, hitting three field goals of over 40 yards. After today’s 39- and 57-yard field goals, Branstetter is now 8-for-10 on the year.

Branstetter said it was relief that this time around people were talking about his kicking ability instead of his tackling on special teams.

“It feels good to get to kick a long field goal,” said Branstetter. “A lot of my buddies or guys that have played here previously joke around saying that I should have played linebacker. After the game I saw some one of them and said, that’s why I’m a field goal kicker and not a linebacker.”