By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – After the best performance of his young career against USF, Kyle Federico followed up with a clunker against Arkansas. The true freshman missed his two field goal attempts, but hasn’t lost any confidence heading into the UConn game. Here’s a Q & A with Federico:
Q: How are you doing with kickoffs? You have four touchbacks which seems like a good start
A: I’m just definitely getting back in the swing of things after high school because I knew at the beginning of the season I wasn’t focusing on kickoffs at all, but I’m just trying to do the best I can and get better and better each game.
Q: When I talked to you before the Arkansas game you said it was something you wanted to do, right?
A: Right, definitely. It’s just another thing. More opportunity to get back on the field. If you can start the game off with a kickoff and get a big boost of confidence right from the start of the game and be ready to go into the next kick and make it.
Q: It looked like in the South Florida game you were ready to launch your career. What happened at Arkansas with the two field goals?
A: First one fundamentals just broke down I’d say. Second one maybe just got a little antsy. Just not being as smooth as I was on PATs I would say. All my PATs I watched and the difference between my PATs and my field goals were my PATs were my normal self. My field goals I just treated the kick a little bit differently just because it was a field goal I did different things which is not what I’m supposed to do.
Q: Was it frustrating in the sense that all the people want from a place kicker is consistency and it looked like you were developing that at South Florida with the three made and then you had two misses. You had confidence going into that game, right?
A: Yeah, definitely. A ton of confidence. Just maybe need to focus in more. I guess during the heat of the moment you’re just not really thinking about as many fundamentals and I was just thinking being smooth and that first step went off too fast and that just threw off the rest of my kicks.
Q: Are you concerned being 50% on the season [on field goals]? Does that creep into your mind at all when you go out there to kick?
A: No, not really. Just go into the next kick and just forget about the kicks going into this next game and just go into this next game 0-0.
Q: Are we expecting too much – and I mean from the media and the fans – from a true freshman place kicker? Do you feel like for a true freshman you’ve done what a true freshman can do to this point or do you have a higher bar for yourself too?
A: I definitely have a higher bar for myself. I want to do the best I can no matter if I’m 18 or 22-years-old I want to compete with the best kickers in the nation who are juniors and seniors and just because I’m a freshman I’m not going to lower my standards.