Utah kicker Andy Phillips does it all in his first football game
The date Aug. 29 has been circled on a lot of college football fans' calendars for over seven months. But for Utah's Andy Phillips, Thursday wasn't just the first game of a new season; it was his first appearance in an organized football game at any level.
That's right. Phillips earned his way into the starting lineup this spring with no previous experience in the sport. However, the 24-year-old redshirt freshman is a versatile athlete as he played soccer in high school before spending five years competing as an alpine racer on the U.S. ski team.
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Shedding any first-game jitters, the untested placekicker came up big in the Utes' 30-26 comeback win against Utah State. In addition to going 3-for-3 in field goal attempts, including the go-ahead and game-sealing kicks in the fourth quarter, Phillips helped Utah catch the Aggies by surprise.
Trailing by six points late in the third quarter, the freshman executed a perfect onside kick that was successfully recovered by the Utes. Phillips was even involved in the scrum for the ball, tweaking his leg in the process. In the ensuing posession, Utah would retake the lead and swing the momentum back in its favor in front of an energized Salt Lake City crowd.
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