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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

ECU kicker chokes badly at end of loss

Owen Daffer

East Carolina kicker Owen Daffer had a brutal three-minute meltdown Saturday to cost his team a shot at a major upset against NC State.

Daffer, the Pirates’ sophomore kicker, essentially cost his team the game with two missed kicks in the final three minutes of action. First, with 2:58 to go in the fourth quarter, Daffer missed a game-tying extra point try, leaving East Carolina down one point on what looked like a game-tying touchdown.

Daffer actually got the chance to redeem himself after the East Carolina defense forced a three-and-out, taking just 31 seconds off the clock. The Pirates got the ball back and drove 47 yards into field goal range, setting Daffer up for a big redemption story with a 42-yard field goal try with four seconds remaining.

Unfortunately, Daffer pushed the field goal try wide to the right, the exact opposite direction of his missed extra point. The miss consigned East Carolina to defeat despite the spirited upset bid.

It’s hard not to feel bad for Daffer here. The extra point miss was certainly easier and more glaring, and that may haunt the Pirates and their fans more than the field goal try. If Daffer makes the extra point, NC State likely goes for the win more aggressively, and the game might not come down to a field goal try, at least in regulation.

NC State entered the season ranked at No. 13, and at least one coach-turned-analyst thinks they could be in line for a very memorable season. They survived by the skin of their teeth here, though.

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