All Alabama fans and the coaching staff desire from the kicking is positive consistency from within 40 yards.
Graduate transfer Austin Jones was thought to be the guy – as he nailed 80 percent of his field goals in three years at Temple and missed just two extra points – but two missed chip shots after touchdowns led to him being pulled for Joseph Bulovas on last week.
The redshirt freshman from Louisiana excited the crowd and his teammates, nailing all five of his extra point attempts and making a 39-yard field versus Arkansas State. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban praised Bulovas for his efforts in his post-game presser and on Monday, as he awarded the nation’s top-ranked kicker in 2017 with player of the week honors on special teams.
Although he twice mentioned the competition is still going between Bulovas and Jones, Saban put everything to rest on Wednesday – naming the freshman as the starter moving forward.
“He’s done well all week and I think he’s confident,” Saban said of Bulovas.
Yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine released an article following the game – citing sources – on Bulovas earning the starting job, prior to Saban making it official. Per those sources, the three-star flashed a smile to his teammates after making his kicks.
“Joe needed this game for his confidence,” sources said. “Coach Saban wanted to see a make, the fans wanted to see a make and after Bulovas made one, he started to grow.”
He will need that confidence to carry over for Saturday’s matchup as the Tide open conference play against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.