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In college, field goals aren't a sure thing

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago November 12, 2014 Nov 12, 2014 Wednesday, November 12 2014 November 12, 2014 3:05 PM in Sports
Source: Associated Press
By: Steve Megargee

Whenever an NFL kicker attempts a field goal from inside 50 yards these days, success seems inevitable.

That isn't the case in college.

Just two weeks ago, Duke beat Pittsburgh 51-48 in overtime after Chris Blewitt missed a 26-yard field goal that would have won the game for the Panthers. On that same day, Utah's Andy Phillips missed a 37-yard attempt in overtime as the Utes fell 19-16 to Arizona State.

While NFL field-goal accuracy has improved from 81.3 percent in 2009 to 85.4 percent this season, according to STATS LLC, college kickers aren't improving at a similar rate. STATS research shows Football Bowl Subdivision kickers are making 72.8 percent of their field-goal attempts this year, virtually unchanged from 72.9 percent in 2009.

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