UM head coach Jim Harbaugh talks about seeing improvement during the Wolverines' winning streak. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor – After a hot start this season, Michigan redshirt freshman kicker Quinn Nordin is in a bit of a slump. He has missed right on three field-goal attempts in each of the last three games, and he’s also missed two extra points in the last four games.
“Make the field goals,” coach Jim Harbaugh said simply during his Monday news conference. “What we ask all of our players to do – execute their assignment, do their job, in this case, put the ball between the uprights.”
In the season opener against Florida, Nordin became the first Michigan kicker to make two field goals of 50 yards or more in a game when he made a 55-yarder and 50-yarder. He was 4-of-6 in that game, missing his final two, including 52-yard attempt, but then made 10 straight. Nordin missed a 31-yard attempt at Maryland last Saturday.
“I said to him, ‘I’m going to stick with you, but you’ve got one more chance,’” Harbaugh said after the game. “He said, ‘I will make it coach, I will make it.’”
Harbaugh would not discuss what isn’t translating from practice to the games for Nordin.
“I’m not going into kicking nuances and specifics,” Harbaugh said. “It’s really simple – he’s got to make the kicks. It’s a meritocracy and if not him, then we’ll give somebody else a shot at it. That’s where we’re at with it.
“Similar last year, you look back to the Wisconsin game, I think Kenny (Allen) missed three in that ballgame, it was the same message last year – ‘Kenny, Kenny, we’re going to make this next one or somebody else is going to kick the one after that.’ Kenny responded to that. We’re very hopeful Quinn will do the same. Next thing to do, give somebody else the opportunity to go out there. Just like we would any other position.”
Harbaugh finished his discussion of Nordin with one final comment:
“Strap on the iron jock, kick the ball through the uprights.”