Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UConn Huskies kicker Dave Teggart has knack for winning field goals against USF Bulls

TAMPA — As a football program, USF has been fortunate to generally dodge the most painful of losses. In their 15 seasons, the Bulls have just four games in which an opponent has kicked a winning field goal in the final minute.

Connecticut kicker Dave Teggart has done just that in each of the past two seasons, the only Bulls opponent to do so since 2003. USF revisits the site of that first heartbreaker Saturday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

"I guess I have their number," Teggart said Tuesday by phone, preparing for the Huskies' homecoming game against the Bulls. "They're a good team, and I think, for what it's worth, that it's going to be a close game, and maybe it will come down to a field goal again. If you're a kicker and you're afraid of close games, you're in the wrong position."

In 2009, Teggart hit a 42-yarder in the snow as time expired to turn a 27-26 USF lead into a 29-27 Huskies victory, this after USF, once down 20-7 in the second half, had scored the go-ahead touchdown with 40 seconds left. Last year, Teggart clinched a BCS bowl berth for the Huskies, hitting a 52-yarder with 17 seconds left for a 19-16 win after USF had erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, tying the score on a field goal with 1:17 left.

In both cases, Teggart's kicks came in the final minute of not only the game but the entire regular season, with those field goals being the difference between USF finishing 4-3 in conference or 3-4, as the Bulls did both times. So you can understand how USF might be motivated to keep Saturday's game out of, say, field-goal range in the closing minutes.

"It's not a revenge factor. I'm not going to say it that way," coach Skip Holtz said. "This team knows they beat us last year. … It was a hard way to lose. I think that game will definitely play in the backs of the minds of the players, from what happened a year ago."

Such a last-minute loss has happened just two other times to USF, in games far less significant. The Bulls lost 22-19 to UAB in 2003 on a 42-yard kick with nine seconds remaining, and in 2001, the Bulls lost 20-17 to Northern Illinois on a 42-yard kick as time expired.

USF's first-ever loss came in similar fashion. In 1997, the Bulls lost 10-7 to the Citadel on a 35-yarder with two minutes left.

Teggart has other huge kicks — he hit a winner in overtime against West Virginia in 2009 — but one of his first memories of such an opportunity was one that got away. At Notre Dame that same season, he hit a tying kick with 1:10 left but missed a 23-yarder with three seconds left that would have won it. UConn went on to win in overtime.

"After that, I refocused myself, and ever since then, knocking on wood, I haven't missed one of those yet," Teggart said. "It's one of those things where you had it in your hand. You've seen the guys play for 60 minutes, they're out there dying, looking for one pick-me-up. If you can't give it to them, it's tough."

Teggart said that as he lined up for last year's winning kick, with a BCS berth and a share of the conference championship on the line, he hadn't thought that he would be beating the same team in nearly the same fashion two years in a row. He said he'll try to tune out that same story line Saturday, knowing any mental distraction can keep history from repeating itself.

"The nature of my position, the second you really think about anything like that, anything at all other than the mission at hand, that's when problems start to happen," he said.

UConn Huskies kicker Dave Teggart has knack for winning field goals against USF Bulls 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.