GA News: OnlineAthens - Georgia kicker Blankenship a bright spot for Bulldogs against Vandy

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From OnlineAthens.com
October 15th, 2016 05:47 PM

On a day Georgia’s special teams again had a rough day, Rodrigo Blankenship booting three field goals won’t be talked about much in the aftermath of a 17-16 loss to Vanderbilt.
“One part was good but the whole wasn’t,” coach Kirby Smart said.
Blankenship, the redshirt freshman walk-on, made all three of his field goal attempts, converting from 45, 23 and 36.
“Kickers need to have short term memory as far as play by play is concerned,” Blankenship said. “If you have that confidence and it builds up from a good performance in a game it can carry over.”
Georgia had not made a field goal from 30 yards or longer this season before Saturday.
Of his 45-yard field goal, Blankenship said: “I just kind of let it ripped and it was a good clean hit. That always helps when you’ve got a little bit deeper kick to start your day. That always helps going forward.”
Blankenship now is 4 of 5 on the season on field goals and 11 of 11 on extra points since taking over for William Ham.
“He really has kicked well in practice,” Smart said of the past week “He was like 16 of 17 this week in practice. We were really confident in Rodrigo, which is why I was thinking could he hit the 54.”
Georgia nearly tried it from that distance before the end of the first half, but Smart thought better of it when Vanderbilt had a return man back. He was on Alabama’s staff when it had the famous kick six loss to Auburn after a 57-yard field goal miss that was returned for a touchdown.
Georgia instead — after two Vanderbilt timeouts — tried a Hail Mary that fell incomplete.
“We knew it was a little bit out of his range,” Smart said. “We were hoping to …get them offsides. When they put a guy deep back to return it, I said, ‘No, no’ with my history.’” We don’t have many guys out there that could tackle them, plus 54 is out of his range.”


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