Last year 45 BCS teams lost 58 regular-season games by three points or less. One of those teams was…
Shelley Glad To Be Back In Bryant-Denny
No one remembers the "doink." Jeremy Shelley? The Alabama placekicker was magnificent with five field goals in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans in the Crimson Tide's 21-0 romp over LSU for the national title. Shelley, an upcoming senior, is considered the Tide's "short field goal" and extra point kicker. Cade Foster handles the long field goals and most of the kickoffs. Fortunately for Shelley, a walk-on from Raleigh, N.C., who is going for his third year as placekicker, Bama gets it into the end zone, or at least close, a lot of times, giving him a lot of opportunities. Shelley set the BCS record with five field goals in seven tries. He connected from 23, 34, 41, 35, and 44 yards. A 42-yard try was blocked and he missed on a 41-yard attempt. His five field goals tied for the second most in school history and is the Alabama bowl game record. His 15 points scored also equaled the second most points scored by a Bama kicker in a game. Shelley has taken over most of the place-kicking since the graduation of All-America Leigh Tiffin following the 2009 national championship season. In that true freshman year he made one extra point and missed one field goal. Things have picked up since then. As a sophomore he was 50-51 on extra point kicks and 12-16 on field goals. Last year he accounted for 115 points to rank fifth all-time in Alabama single season scoring and second all-time in kicking points in a season. His 8.85 points per game ranked 21st nationally and third in the Southeastern Conference (second among kickers). He was 21-27 on field goals and 52-54 on extra points. For his career he has been good on 33-44 field goals with a long of 44 yards and 103 of 106 points after touchdowns for 204 points. Shelley said he enjoyed the post-BCS Championship Game attention. "It was a lot of fun," he said. "It's always great coming off a game like that. Still to this day I can't believe everything that went on to kick five field goals. It was busy. I had a lot of interviews and some radio interviews and a lot of stuff from back home, friends and family talking to me. It was a lot of fun; just exceptional. "But it's time to move on and get into this spring. So far it's gone very well." The Crimson Tide is two-thirds of the way through the 15 spring practice dates, headed to the April 14 A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide got its first preview of Bryant-Denny with a scrimmage last Saturday and will have its second closed scrimmage in the stadium this Saturday. "It was really nice to finally get out there and to kick in Bryant-Denny again," Shelley said. "To come out four-for-four (on field goals) was exactly what I planned to do. As an individual and as a unit I feel like we all did really well. Cody Mandell stepped up. He had a lot of big punts and high numbers. Cade Foster had a lot of good field goals and a lot of good kickoffs." Shelley didn't worry too much about Foster having one long field goal try blocked. "We have a great defensive line, you know?" Shelley said. "It's hard to beat our own D-Line." Shelley has a high-profile holder as starting quarterback A.J. McCarron is continuing in that duty. Shelley is quite satisfied with the arrangement. "With field goals, you have to have that timing, and also the chemistry of knowing he's going to be able to have the ball there all the time when you need it," Shelley said. "We have that. We've developed that over the last two years. I'm very confident in AJ and his holding." Shelley and Foster will have some competition this fall when Adam Griffith of Calhoun, Ga., rated the nation's number one placekicker by Scout.com, arrives as a scholarshipped kicker. "It's always great to have a new face," Shelley said. "Hopefully, he'll do great for our team. If he's up there it's going to be great because he's going to push us even further than we push each other. I'm looking forward to having him on campus." Foster is also on scholarship. But not Shelley. Asked if there has been any conversation about a scholarship, Shelley said, "I've not sure. That's above me." But it's not because of the"doink." Remember? Following Trent Richardson's 34-yard fourth quarter touchdown run that nailed the coffin shut on LSU's chance and assured Bama of its 14th national championship, Shelley's extra point attempt clanked off the right upright. It did not inhibit the celebration.
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