Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I predicted a 34-28 victory for Michigan (LINK), which was only 3 total points off. And if Michigan hadn’t whiffed on their two-point conversion attempt, it would have been even closer. Essentially, the game went almost exactly how I thought it would. I thought Michigan would be ahead late and then force a turnover, stopping a final drive, much like what happened against Rutgers. Instead, Michigan and Nebraska were tied late, and Brad Hawkins forced a fumble, leading to the game-winning field goal. Nebraska is a tough place to play at night – which we learned back in 2012 when Denard Robinson hurt his elbow and Russell Bellomy entered disastrously. Escaping with a victory this time feels good.
Name: Jake Moody Height: 6’1″ Weight: 211 lbs. High school: Northville (MI) Northville Position: Kicker Class: Senior Jersey number: #13 Last year: I ranked Moody #30 and said he would be the starting kickoff specialist and the part-time placekicker (LINK). He was the kickoff specialist and made 1/4 field goals. TTB Rating: N/A
Moody had a season to forget in 2020. And really that forgettable stretch began in the middle of 2019. After making just 2/5 field goals to end that campaign, Moody made just 1/4 field goals last season – including going 0/3 against Minnesota in the season opener. The confidence for Michigan’s kickers has been shaky for the past few seasons, as Moody and Quinn Nordin (now with the Patriots) have alternated. One iffy kicker would be benched for another iffy kicker.
Now there’s only one iffy scholarship kicker on the roster, and it’s Moody. Michigan does have walk-on Cole Hussung and freshman punter/kicker Tommy Doman. Both have potential, but guessing at kicker talent based on highlights is a fool’s errand. Every well regarded kicker/punter has the potential to kick 50-yard field goals and average 45 yards per punt, but do they have the consistent technique and emotional stability to handle the job?
I’m not convinced that Moody can handle the ups and downs of kicking at Michigan, but options are limited. Perhaps with Nordin out of the way, he can settle in and be more consistent. I struggled with where to place Moody because of his inconsistency, but with an offense that may lack explosiveness, it would really help to have a guy who can put the ball through the uprights regularly and prevent too many empty trips into opponent territory.
Predictions: Starting kickoff specialist and placekicker
Name: Jake Moody Height: 6’0″ Weight: 177 lbs. High school: Northville (MI) Northville Position: Kicker Class: Sophomore Jersey number: #2 Last year: I ranked Moody #45 and said he would be the starting kicker (LINK). He was 6/9 on field goals with a long of 43 yards, and 34 of his 75 kickoffs went for touchbacks. TTB Rating: N/A
Moody had an up-and-down season in 2019. He made his first 4 field goals of the year, but then he went 2-for-5 down the stretch. On the flip side, fellow kicker Quinn Nordin missed his first 3 field goals of the year and then went 10/10 once he took over the job full-time from Moody. Moody made a giant kick against Army, which broke a 21-21 tie to win the game in double overtime. That was the highlight of his year.
I put Moody here at #30 because he is likely to be the kickoff specialist and handle at least some of the placekicking duties. It’s a very odd dynamic between him and Nordin, and there must be things going on in practice and behind closed doors that keeps the competition seesawing back and forth. Nordin was a highly touted kicker and is returning for a fifth year, so the coaches must see some value in having him around . . . but Moody keeps hanging him around, too. It’s not often that Michigan has two scholarship kickers in such a battle.
Name: Jake Moody Height: 6’0″ Weight: 177 lbs. High school: Northville (MI) Northville Position: Kicker Class: Sophomore Jersey number: #2 Last year: I did not rank Moody. He was 10/11 on field goals with a long of 48 yards, and 43 of his 89 kickoffs went for touchbacks. TTB Rating: N/A
I usually punt when it comes to ranking kickers, and Moody is a great example why. When he committed to Michigan, there was confusion about whether he would be a grayshirt or a preferred walk-on or a scholarship player.
By the time game one rolled around, he was on scholarship and handling kickoff duties.
By the eleventh game, against Indiana, he went in to placekick and was 6/6 on field goals. He went 4/5 over the next two games (and was 5/5 overall on extra points).
This year I have Moody ranked at #45 and Quinn Nordin at #51 (LINK). It could be the reverse. Nordin has a strong enough leg to handle kickoffs, too.
I believe Michigan will have a solid kicker this season, because there are two good options. I just don’t know which one it will be.
Thanks to Bryan and Keith for the recent, generous donations through Paypal!
It’s been a long time coming because I’ve been so busy, but here are the final TTB Ratings for the class of 2018.
A note on the ratings: These are Michigan-specific ratings, so a guy who would be an instant starter at Eastern Michigan might not be quite so much of an individual standout playing against Michigan’s opponents . . . and he might even have a hard time getting on the field over some other Wolverines. It’s tricky trying to determine how the depth chart will shake out over the next three to five years, but I’m here for the heavy lifting. For more of an explanation, check out this page here (LINK).