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Tigers Football Insider: The Tigers needs a reliable kicker
 
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University of Memphis punter Joe Doyle is 7-of-10 on the year, including the 51-yard field goal against Mississippi State. (Courtesy Memphis Athletics)
 

University of Memphis punter Joe Doyle is 7-of-10 on the year, including the 51-yard field goal against Mississippi State. (Courtesy Memphis Athletics)

Welcome back to the Tigers Football Insider, where we bring you the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Frank Bonner II, Geoff Calkins and John Martin each week. 

Last week was not a good week for the kicking staff.

Memphis missed three field goals and an extra point in the 35-29 loss to Tulsa. Having a reliable kicker is important, especially when five of the six games this year have been decided by six points or less.

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Punter Joe Doyle was the starting placekicker until freshman David Kemp appeared in his first game last week. Kemp was cleared from his injury and started kicking in practice a couple of weeks ago.

Although he should get a pass for missing a 53-yarder, Kemp missed a 36-yard field goal and an extra point. Memphis went back to Doyle in the third quarter and he missed a 48-yard attempt. The Tigers missed out on 10 points in a six-point game. 

Coach Ryan Silverfield said after the game that he had no idea which kicker he planned on using against Navy on Thursday. The best option would likely be Doyle.

He is 7-of-10 on the year, including the 51-yard field goal against Mississippi State. He has missed two extra points this season but he looks to be more reliable than Kemp right now.

“Joe Doyle has done a nice job of stepping into a position he didn’t think he was going to have to do,” Silverfield said. “We have a freshman kicker, David Kemp, who told me that he was ready and obviously wasn’t able to do it on the stage Saturday night. I can’t ruin his career. We expect great things from both of those guys. I’m not going to sit there and cuss out a freshman kicker for missing kicks. He’s just got to understand, I’ve had that conversation with him, we’ve got faith in you. We’ve got confidence in you.”

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Close games have been the theme of the season for the Tigers and they’ve lost more of those games than they’ve won. The entire weight of those losses can’t be thrown on the shoulders of the kickers but missing multiple field goals and extra points surely don’t help. There has been at least one missed field goal or extra point in each of the three losses. 

Memphis has converted on 6-of-13 fourth-down attempts and Silverfield said the offense may need to be a little more aggressive while the kicking situation gets figured out. Fans may see a couple of extra gambles for the Tigers against Navy.

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