Kelly makes first clutch kick
The UH sophomore hits a 46-yarder to end practice and send his team to the pool
Hawaii kicker Dan Kelly made the field goal of his life yesterday, and it wasn't even in a game.
"I don't think I'll ever feel this much pressure again," Kelly said afterward. "USC was pressure, but this was more."
The sophomore made a 46-yarder (matching his long in a game last year) at the UH practice field to end the 2 1/2-hour morning session. The pressure came from the fact that a pool party instead of an afternoon practice was on the line.
Kelly said he received some "motivational speeches" from some of his larger teammates before the kick.
"But they were joking, all smiles after they say it," Kelly said. "There's definitely some of that 'We love you, but we won't love you if you miss it' kind of comments. All tough love, brotherly love kind of thing."
The kick was plenty long, but was barely inside the right upright.
"I didn't hit it solid. I got a lot of height on it, but I hit it almost straight with my toe," Kelly said. "That's OK. There's no style points in football."
Kelly made 10 of 15 field goals last year as a true freshman, including his first career try, a 30-yarder against USC.
"I hadn't even kicked off, so it was my first (college) kick, ever. I can remember every feeling leading up to that, but nothing once I got on the field.
"Same thing here. Once I get on the field I see my holder, I see my snapper. I don't really pay attention to anything else," Kelly said. "I don't see if they have the impact player coming off the corner. I don't see if they have a big guy up the middle about to jump to try to block it.
"The thing I care about is seeing 57 in front of me and 25 right next to me. That's all that matters. I know Jake (Ingram) is going to give me a perfect snap every time. Every kick I've missed has been on me, not my holder, not my snapper. Kurt (Milne) and Jake have been perfect."
UH coach June Jones awarded Kelly with a scholarship after last season.
"He's talented and continues to improve and mature as a kicker," Jones said. "We'll be counting on him."
Special teams coordinator Mouse Davis said Kelly is not a lock to do all the kicking this fall.
"Kelly's doing a good job. But we think we've got a little competition. The other kid (walk-on freshman Briton Forester), he's a very good kicker," Davis said. "Daniel has a little stronger leg on kickoffs. The other kid's got a little more lift on extra points and field goals. But both of them have been very good."
Davis said Forester could do PATs (Kelly was 42-for-45 last year; and one was blocked that would've tied Boise State in the closing moments) and short field goals.
"That could happen, certainly, but (probably) not on the road. We always have a problem with numbers. That could happen, too, but it depends on how much stretch there is between the two," Davis said. "June will call the shot on that, and he's keeping an eye on them."