How does UConn kicker Dave Teggart top his 2010 performance?
"Just be consistent," said the senior from Northborough, Mass. "Whenever I'm out there, make the kick, that's it. That's all it is with me. I joke with [quarterback] Johnny Mac [McEntee] a lot. He says, 'A lot of players don't know how fast they gotta go, what read is coming, what play it's going to be called.' But me, I have the answer: there's the [goal] post and I got to put it through. That's it."
"Dave is a great kicker but no matter what you do with a guy like that you have to keep his confidence up," said Clayton White, UConn's special teams coach. "Just practice the right way, getting the right amount of kicks and working on certain tools. He's a veteran, a very, very good kicker who knows what to do with his schedule.
"To me the whole key with him is keeping his confidence up and keeping him in a routine like a golfer. He has to do his own thing and has to know his strength and weaknesses."
Teggart will look to close in on perfection. He couldn't be better on extra points where he has yet to miss in his career -- a perfect 99-for-99.
As good as Teggart was on field goal attempts in 2010, he wasn't perfect (26 of 31). He's shooting for perfection this season.
He likely has some momentum from his past two outings, the regular season finale at South Florida and the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma. He was a perfect 4-for-4 against the Bulls, even a more impressive 2-for-2 from 50, including the game-winning 52-yard boot that sent the Huskies to the BCS meeting with Oklahoma. The Huskies were pounded by 28 points but Teggart kicked field goals of 37 and 38 yards.
Teggart, who had a summer internship with the Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team in Norwich, also worked on perfecting his game.
"I'd come here [Burton Family Complex] and lift from 6 to 8 in the morning then I'd go from 9 to 5, sometimes longer at Dodd Stadium. I'd come back here whenever I could, go in and kick. Next day starts up, same thing, at it again. It was a pretty hard-working summer, actually."
Teggart, who had the game-winning field goal in overtime to help UConn beat West Virginia 16-13, is 2-for-3 from 50 yards in his career.
Since he's done it, he understands the expectations are that he can always do it.
"Well, I have some pretty high expectations myself," Teggart said. "I know what I can do out there and for a while now, I've known I could hit 50-plus yard field goals. If it's just happening now that people expect me to make them then that's good because I should be making them."
Said White: "If the wind is right, 53-55 yards is what I've seen. I think he makes six or seven out of 10 from that distance. It's hard to practice that distance all the time but I've seen him knock some down that have room and I've seen him come up short, too, so "
Coach Paul Pasqualoni knows he has what is becoming a sure-fire way to get points.
"Our kicker, Dave Teggart, biggest kick maybe in Connecticut history to beat the University of South Florida, put us in the Fiesta Bowl," Pasqualoni told the crowd at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce Breakfast in Cromwell last week. "We got this guy back. We get in the red zone, the goal of the red zone is touchdown scoring percentage, not field goals. Touchdown scoring percentage is the key. But if we can't do that, this guy is going to give us a chance."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times