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Still Searching for a Place Kicker

One position is still up for grabs: sophomore Jon Teague and junior Joe Buckley continue to battle to be Navy's place kicker. (Here's a short story I wrote about the kicking game last month.)

Teague has the stronger leg — he will handle kickoff duties again this season — but Buckley has performed well in the scrimmages, converting three kicks from inside 40 yards. Both players will travel to Columbus this weekend, and Coach Ken Niumatalolo says that they may have a kick-off prior to the game against Ohio State.

"It changes every day," Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "One day I think, 'Okay, he's our kicker.' Then I come the next day, 'Okay, maybe he's not.' It might be a game-time decision. I don't want to do that. I'd rather let the guys know who the kicker is."

Neither Teague nor Buckley has ever attempted a field goal in a college game, and both were shaky during the opening week of camp, missing badly at times. But the daily competition has helped them get better; so far this week, Teague and Buckley are both 3 of 4 in post-practice field goal attempts.

"I couldn't sleep during camp, the way we were kicking the ball" early on, Niumatalolo said. "We're kicking the ball much better now. It's just who's more consistent."

By Camille Powell  |  September 2, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
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