Here’s some clarification on a couple things that came up in this week’s podcast.
UTEP kicker Dakota Warren was praised during the discussion between host Jay Koester, Felix Chavez and myself for his three field-goal effort in the Miners’ Saturday home win against Memphis. We told you that Warren’s 57-yard kick in that game was the fourth longest in UTEP history. We also told you that the longest field goal ever made by a Miner (64 yards) was booted in 2008 by Jose Martinez.
I mentioned that the longest kick in NCAA history — at least in a bowl game — was also kicked in the Sun Bowl by one Tony Franklin. Franklin made a 62-yarder for his Texas A&M Aggies against Florida on Jan. 2, 1977 (and 1977, for you trivia buffs, is the only year that the Sun Bowl was played twice in the same calendar year).
But that wasn’t Franklin’s longest kick.
Franklin set the NCAA record for the longest field goal on Oct. 16, 1976, against Baylor when he put the foot to a 65-yarder, a distance which I incorrectly attributed to his Sun Bowl kick. How long did Franklin’s record stand? Mere hours, as later the same day, Abilene Christian University kicker Ove Johannson nailed a 69-yard attempt against East Texas State University at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. Johannson’s kick is the longest successful field goal made by a kicker at all levels of football. But since Abilene Christian was an NAIA school, Franklin held the NCAA record.
It was broken a year later as Texas Longhorn kicker Russell Erxleben kicked a 67-yarder against Rice on Oct. 1, 1977. The record was matched two weeks later by Steve Little of Arkansas.
Franklin, meanwhile, is listed as a “Legend of the Sun Bowl” by the Sun Bowl Association and is a member of the Sun Bowl’s 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team.
Interesting that alot of these record-setting kicks were made in about a one-year span and most of them were booted in Texas.
Bold prediction No. 1
UTEP wide receiver Marlon McClure will make a tide-turning kick return for a touchdown at some point this season.
Seeing the nation’s elite
Boise State’s visit to Aggie Memorial Stadium this weekend is being touted as a chance to see the highest-ranked rank team to ever visit Las Cruces.
In fact, the Broncos will be the highest-ranked team to visit the El Paso-Las Cruces area.
I figured the highest-ranked team to visit El Paso was No. 7 BYU in 1985 (and as most of you know, a game in which UTEP pulled off its greatest upset in history).
But, alas, that’s incorrect.
The Miners hosted the nation’s No. 6 twice — Wyoming on Nov. 18, 1967, and SMU on Sept. 18, 1992. Both were losses for UTEP.
Bold prediction No. 2
Dakota Warren will make a 60-plus yard field goal attempt this season.
Dogging New Mexico
In case you missed it yesterday, ESPN ranks the Lobos the third-worst team in the nation.