August 18, 2006

Special teams: freshman kickers step up

A minor groin injury has left the Tide without junior placekicker Jamie Christensen since Monday's scrimmage.

Whether or not Christensen is ready to go for the season remains to be seen but in the meanwhile special teams coach Dave Ungerer is preparing for the worst by getting his two freshman kickers as much practice as possible.

"We tried to step up the intensity or the learning curve," Ungerer said. "Last year we started the season with our number two guy. I hope we're not in that situation now but we might be."

So far the young kickers have responded. Andrew Friedman who entered fall camp as the number two man at placekicker has looked technically sound and has improved his consistency in practice.

But it's freshman Leigh Tiffin, son of Tide hero Van Tiffin, who has made the most noise since Christensen's injury. Tiffin missed a field goal during Monday's scrimmage but hit all four kicks Thursday morning to save the team from extra conditioning work.

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