LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Matthew Wyman already doesn't remember the first field goal he ever made, even though it was a 45-yarder in Kansas' season-opening victory against South Dakota just a couple weeks ago.
He does remember the first field goal he ever tried, one he'd rather forget.
Wyman didn't expect to attempt the kick, especially considering the circumstances. He was a senior at Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and although he handled the kickoff and punting duties, he'd never attempted a field goal in a game.
But his team needed only three points for a victory, and instead of letting the quarterback attempt a desperation throw to the end zone, Wyman was summoned for a 50-yard field goal. Maybe the Hail Mary would have been a better idea.
"I had never practiced a live-snap field goal," Wyman recalled. "I just ran out there and tried kicking it and it got blocked."
An inauspicious start, perhaps, but his Division I kicking career is under way.
Wyman is now the Jayhawks' starting kicker, and while it might be surprising that coach Charlie Weis trusts a former soccer player who was cut from tryouts last season, the kicking game in Lawrence hasn't been in a position to be picky lately.
The field goal Wyman converted against South Dakota was the Jayhawks' longest since Jacob Branstetter's 46-yarder against Kansas State in 2009. Last year's kicker, Ron Doherty, made only five of 10 kicks and now is a backup. The other kicker, Nick Prolago, is no longer on the team.
So maybe it isn't so far-fetched for Wyman to be handling all this. Kansas hosts Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
"He was running the fourth kicker, then he was the third kicker, then he was the second kicker, then he was the first kicker and he hasn't looked back," Weis said. "He hasn't turned back and that wasn't a name anyone was asking about, and we weren't telling.
"This kid won the competition," Weis said, "and it wasn't even close."