By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – It’s one of the most overlooked intricacies in football. Along with the long snapper, the holder is a blip on the radar. An unknown commodity until something goes awry.
It’s understandable. After all, as Justin Doerner put it, “really just holding the football.”
But Rutgers’ has struggled the last two games. Starting holder J.T. Tartacoff botched two snaps against Howard and one against USF. However the one at USF is excusable considering he dislocated his pinky while receiving the snap.
Still, Rutgers needs to clean up the holding so kicker Kyle Federico can get off clean kicks. And it’ll likely be Doerner’s responsibility to do that this week.
Fortunately for Federico, he had gotten kicks with Doerner as his holder in training camp when Tartacoff has to miss some time with an undisclosed injury. And the true freshman didn’t have to make an adjustments with a new holder in the middle of a game.
“I wasn’t going to let that make me do something different,” Federioco told SNY.tv. “Something like that you just got ot trust that no matter what it is, you don’t want it to affect what you do and the reason why you miss it is because you’re nervous about a new holder coming in in the middle of the game and I just feel like you blank all that and kick the way you can.”
After all, it’s the holders job to set the ball up the way his kicker likes.
“Some kickers like the ball maybe tilted a little more one way than the other or straight up and down,” Doerner said. “As far as it goes for me, it’s nothing too major. If I have to tilt the ball and extra inch that way, it’s nothing you really got to worry about.”
However botched snaps are. But Federico doesn’t concern himself with the miscues of the last couple of weeks.
“That’s in the past,” Federico said. “Move on to the next kick. Just like if I were to miss a kick you have to have a short memory. No matter what it is – either snap, hold, kick – no matter what it is you have to have a short memeory and move on to the next one because if you don’t have that short memory that can carry with you into the next kick which there’s no reason to carry that with you to the next kick.”