Should Georgia Tech need a field goal in the final seconds to defeat Georgia, Yellow Jackets kicker Scott Blair is in a good place mentally and ready to go.
The senior is having an All-ACC campaign this season. He has hit 15 of 17 field goals, including eight of 10 from 40 yards or longer. Three of those came in last week’s win against Duke. Blair is also a perfect 32-of-32 on point-after attempts.
His success this season can be traced back to the mental mess that he got himself into last season. He tried to be Mr. Roboto on every kick, making sure every fundamental was perfect. As a result, he reached a point of paralysis by analysis. He missed 6 of his 20 field-goal attempts, including four from less than 40 yards. His kickoffs were as wild as a Nuke LaLoosh pitch.
It reached a point where coach Paul Johnson pulled Blair aside and told him to relax.
He did. While still focused on making sure he’s fundamentally sound, Blair said he started focusing on the positives of kicking.
“I’m not putting as much pressure on myself,” he said. “Last year I would put too much pressure on myself thinking about missing. This year, I’m just going out there and having fun.”
Part of that fun has included sporting a mohawk hairstyle earlier in the season. He and two teammates, holder Chandler Anderson and snapper Jeff Lentz, also made a funny video that played on Tech’s scoreboard whenever he would hit a field goal.
Blair also handled punting duties against the Blue Devils, something he hasn’t done since the 2008 season. His two punts averaged 46 yards. After the game, Johnson complimented his kicker, something he didn’t do often last year.
“I didn’t worry about Scott being the punter,” he said. “He has punted in games, and he is a senior. He has made some big kicks for us, so it wasn’t a big deal.”