Freshman place-kicker brings strong effort in opener

sports@macon.comSeptember 1, 2012 

ATHENS -- Consistency wasn’t exactly the theme for Georgia during much of its opening game against Buffalo.

True freshman place-kicker Marshall Morgan broke the trend as a steady force on special teams for Georgia on Saturday afternoon.

“I got out there and felt confident feeling that I was kicking for my coaches, kicking for my family, (kicking) for God,” Morgan said following the Bulldogs’ 45-23 victory. “My whole family was there. (The team) had a good prayer before. It’s just a great feeling. I got out there, had my confidence boosted up by my teammates, and did what I’ve been doing the whole summer, my whole life.”

Georgia head coach Mark Richt was also pleased with his freshman place-kicker, especially in the kickoff game where Buffalo was only able to return two kickoffs the entire afternoon.

“I thought Marshall kicked off extremely well,” Richt said. “I will say he kicked off better in the game than he had in practices. He had shown signs of being able to do what he did before when we were trying him and (Jamie) Lindley out on kickoffs.”

On offense, Morgan was 1-for-2 in field goal tries, making his second collegiate field goal attempt, a 35-yarder at the 12:16 mark of the second quarter. The kick extended the Georgia lead to 17-6 at the time.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is glad that if he had to miss a field goal that it wasn’t the last one.

“After the first one, I was bummed out,” Morgan said. “Like everyone says, you’re just as good as your last kick. You got to forget about it. I forgot about it and went out there with a fresh mind for the next one and got it.”

Heading into a hostile environment next week in Missouri, Richt believes the confidence Morgan now has from his first collegiate game will be a great help.

“He started out hot, and then we just kept going,” Richt said in reference to kickoffs. “He missed the first field goal, which you hate, but he did get the other one, so he has a field goal under his belt. He got a bunch of extra points under his belt too, so he did well.”

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