NC State’s field goal kicking game has been dismal the past two seasons. The Wolfpack connected on 9 of their 17 field goal attempts last year. Only 12 FBS teams connected on fewer field goals.
After JR Kyle Bambard connected on only 5 of his 10 field goal attempts as a freshman, the Wolfpack coaching staff brought in Graduate Transfer Connor Haskins from UNC Pembroke last season to stabilize the kicking game. He had connected on 71% of his kicks at UNC-P, and was confident that he would earn the starting nod over Bambard, but he didn’t win the job, and only connected on 4 of his 7 attempts. Bambard was consistent in 2016, but not in the way you want, connecting on 50% of his kicks once again (7 of 14).
Doeren’s remedy to the kicking woes in 2017: Enter Graduate Transfer Carson Wise from Carson Newman. He committed to Virginia Tech out of high school, and redshirted his first season there, before transferring to Carson Newman looking for more playing time. Wise connected on 68% of his field goal attempts in two seasons (72% last year) at Carson Newman, earning All South Atlantic Conference honors both years.
Here is a breakdown of Wise’s made and missed field goals in 2016:
Made: 18, 23, 25, 25, 26, 25, 26, 30, 33, 36, 40, 42, 41
Miss: 22, 34 (blk), 39 (blk), 41, 46
Wise’s longest field goal in college is 42 yards, and in high school he drilled a 55-yarder.
NC State ranked 13th in the FBS in going for it on 4th down last year, and a lot of that didn’t have to do with risk taking, but a lack of confidence in the kicking game. It was the difference between wins and losses.
At this point, Doeren has made it clear that it’s Wise’s “job to lose.” The question is, can Wise get the job done?