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Joe Buckley to Kick Against Air Force

Navy is switching its place kicker once again. Junior Joe Buckley will handle field goals and extra-point attempts against Air Force after winning this week's kicking competition. Buckley made all three of his attempts from 39 yards on Tuesday, and then made all three attempts from 42 yards on Wednesday. Sophomore Jon Teague was 3-for-3 on Tuesday but was 2-for-3 on Wednesday, missing his final kick from the right hash mark.

"Hopefully we don't have this discussion again next week," Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Hopefully Buckley kicks good this week."

Buckley began the season as Navy's kicker, but missed two of his three field goal attempts, both from inside 35 yards. Teague handled the kicking duties last Saturday, and converted a 31-yard attempt but missed from 32 yards.

Field goals have played a major role in recent Navy-Air Force games. The Midshipmen won the 2004 and 2005 games on last-second field goals, and in last year's 33-27 victory in Colorado Springs, Matt Harmon tied a school record by kicking four field goals (of 32, 35, 42 and 48 yards).

Niumatalolo was encouraged by Buckley's 6-for-6 performance in practice this week. Both kickers have been working with special teams coordinator Steve Johns prior to practice.

"He kicked well," Niumatalolo said of Buckley. "I've been watching him in pre-practice, and he's been kicking well in pre-practice so I'm encouraged by that."

By Camille Powell  |  September 30, 2009; 8:38 PM ET
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