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Commentary: Sophomore kicker proving to be sure-footed force

After hitting 12 straight field goals, sophomore Drew Basil is quickly becoming the sure-footed kicker Ohio State is looking for.

To begin the year, Basil was struggling to find his groove, missing two attempts in the Buckeyes’ first two games. Since then, the right-foot from Chillicothe, Ohio, has not missed an attempt.

In the first game of the season against Akron, Basil had two opportunities to convert the first field goal of the season. He missed an unofficial 45-yard attempt because of an offside penalty against the Zips. After resetting five yards closer, he missed the 40-yard attempt.

In the second game against Toledo, Basil missed a 47-yard attempt. Through two games, Basil had failed to convert.

Since then, he’s been perfect.

Hitting 12 field goals in a row, Basil is the kind of reliable option OSU has been used to thoughout the years. In the past ten years, OSU has not had a problem making just about every field goal it attempts, thanks to Aaron Pettrey, Devin Barclay and Mike Nugent.

Basil has converted on all 26 extra point attempts on the season. Including the 12 field goals, he has accumulated 62 points on the season.

Despite his recent success, Basil apparently had not shown the OSU coaching staff everything they needed to see in order to trust him fully. On Oct. 8 against Nebraska, OSU was leading Nebraska by seven points when they had the ball in Nebraska territory.

OSU had the ball for a second-and-13 at the Nebraska 32 yard line. From that point, a 49-yard field goal try was an option. After two incomplete passes, the Buckeyes opted to punt instead of trying the field goal.

Basil’s long field goal on the year was from 47 yards against Colorado.

Talking with Basil during media day, Basil said he was very consistent from 52 yards. However, the coaching staff has not given him an opportunity all year longer than 47 yards.

Head coach Luke Fickell said after the game at Nebraska that a field goal try from 49 yards was “a little out of our range.”

Basil has now converted on 12 straight, and each of them have been splitting the uprights and have had distance to spare.

Basil, only a sophomore, will be that reliable special teams force the Buckeyes are used to.

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