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Mack Brown reveals he had Justin Tucker talk to UNC kickers amid inconsistencies

On3 imageby:Kaiden Smith09/12/23


North Carolina had the opportunity to win the game in regulation on Saturday against Appalachian State as kicker Ryan Coe attempted a 39-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in a tied ballgame.

Coe missed that kick, but fortunately for the Tar Heels, they were able to pull out a 40-34 win in double overtime to extend their record to 2-0.

On Monday North Carolina head coach Mack Brown was asked if there was an open competition at the kicker spot heading into Week 3 and if there’s a confidence issue with Coe, revealing that he recently brought out the big guns to help mentor his kickers.

“It is an ongoing competition and I can’t answer the other because I don’t know, but we have been inconsistent,” Brown said. “I had Justin Tucker Zoom with them last week and I think Justin missed one in four years and he kicks from 60 [yards] now and he doesn’t miss any.”

Tucker has been regarded as the best kicker in the NFL on several occasions throughout his 11-year career with the Baltimore Ravens. He boasts an NFL record 90.54% career field goal percentage and has earned five First-Team All-Pro selections, making him so good that it could be hard to give advice through his experience.

“And I thought it was funny one of them said how do you respond after you miss one? I thought he never misses, so he can’t answer that question,” Brown laughed and said. “That’s just not part of it. But yeah, we need to be more consistent and we kick game winning field goals every time we do the one-minute drill. We finish with a field goal to win the game, so it’s not like that was the first time we walked out there.”

Hopefully, Tucker’s sage advice can help the Tar Heels’ kicking game as they head into their final game of a tough three-week stretch of non-conference play, facing off against Big Ten opponent Minnesota this weekend. And heading into their matchup versus the Golden Gophers, Brown was asked who the No. 1 kicker is this week at practice.

“I think we’ll look at and see, plus Ryan’s been sore some so that’s part of this too. I mean we’re the only one that can have a sore kicker, but we do,” Brown said. “But what we do, very honestly, just about every position is open every week. I mean Drake’s isn’t.”

We know that star quarterback Drake Maye will be under center for North Carolina on Saturday, but it will be interesting to see who kicks the extra points following his touchdown drives this weekend in Chapel Hill.