As the Tuscaloosa Saturday night air brought in chilly air and red faces, it also blew in punting improvement for Mississippi State University's kicker Tucker Day.
Day recently shared how he switched his punting style to a more natural style.
“It all started with me going back to what I did in high school,” Day said.
Day explained how in practices, he has worked hard to find his consistency again. Saturday’s game against Alabama showed extreme consistency from Day, which greatly helped the team. From this, Day has shown the coaches he is reliable.
“(In) practice, I’ve been consistently smashing the ball, our coaches are getting more and more happy and are trusting in me,” Day said.
The approach Day used to is not a new technique for him, he is returning to what he knows can produce positive results. This is motivating for him and for the team, especially when nearing the end of the season. If Day can keep up his consistency and comfortability in his punting, the Bulldogs may have a much greater chance in winning the upcoming games.
“What I did in high school was, I did two steps and a half step, what they had me do here was they wanted me to cut it down to a one step punt which is built mostly for speed because our whole punt operation is about getting the ball off quickly,” Day said. "It works, there’s no doubt about that, but if I'm doing that the whole time, I’m not consistently punting the way I like to punt.”
Day said his coaches have supported him and have worked in practice at finding the best way to improve his punting. He explained he worked in high school for four years on his current punting style, which has made him more comfortable with producing consistent results.
“For the most part, every single guy on our team always wants you to have success,” Day said.
Day said the team's kicking and punting specialists have been there for him and encouraged him during this change. Day also added that having more opportunities in the Alabama game was a great chance for him to use the natural punting style. Day is happy he is producing better, more consistent results.
In addition, Day has had the backing of his team and his coaches in his return to his preferred punting style. He said the other kickers on the team have been supportive throughout the style change.