Auburn, Ala.--There have been many positive parts to Auburn’s 3-1 start to the 2013 season, but the kicking of senior Cody Parkey is perhaps the most consistent area for the Tigers as they head into the second month of the 2013 football season.
Preparing to face Ole Miss next week in a key SEC West showdown, the kicking game could once again be an area where the Tigers have an advantage thanks to Parkey.
A perfect 11-11 on extra-point attempts and 7-8 on field goals, with the only miss from 50 yards against Washington State, Parkey is kicking the ball extremely well. Throw in 15 touchbacks on 22 kickoff opportunities and you have a definite weapon for Auburn. While things have been good, Parkey said there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I'm hitting it good,” the senior said. “On a couple kickoffs I haven't hit as well as I could have--kind of of hitting them not-so-good, but overall I think I'm hitting pretty well. My field goals feel really good and just warming up and everything.
"Me and Ryan (White) and Jake Lembke have got a really good groove going right now so we're just really concerned about keeping that going and really, as the year goes on, the leg starts wearing and tearing. I'm really concentrating on keeping my kick count down and concentrating on my technique.”
Parkey lines up a field goal vs. Arkansas State.
Playing four consecutive weeks takes a toll on both the offense and defense in football, but when you factor in the month of preseason practices it has been a long eight-week stretch for the Tigers. Even though he hasn’t had the hitting that someone like a lineman would endure during that time, it hasn’t been easy for even a kicker like Parkey to get through.
With so much kicking before and during practice, Parkey said it has been an important week for him as well because it has given him time to get his leg back. Even taking some rest he said you can’t stop kicking altogether however because you need to stay in a rhythm. Whether it’s working on his accuracy with drills or trying new onside kick techniques, Parkey noted that part of reaching your potential as a kicker is learning what schedule works the best for you and sticking to it.
“It's just like a pitcher would in baseball,’ Parkey said. “I kick twice a week and do onside kicks probably three times a week and then get in the ice tub. It's just constantly trying to keep your legs fresh. Coming in my freshman year I remember kicking so many kickoffs and it by mid-season I was like, 'Dang, this is going to be a long season.'
“That's just something you learn as you go, how much you can kick, how much your body can take. Definitely the more you kick, the less fresh you're going to be on Saturday, so they try to keep a kick count on me so I don't kick too many balls.”
For his career Parkey has made 31-40 field goals and is on pace to be one of the top kickers in Auburn history.
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