Arizona State’s kicking game wasn’t the main cause for concern following the Sun Devils’ 43-21 loss to Oregon on Thursday, but redshirt sophomore Alex Garoutte’s first quarter miss from 43 yards out certainly caught the attention of head coach Todd Graham.
“[That kick] would of put us up 10-8 or something like that,” Graham said. “We’ve missed, what, like four kicks now on the season? It’s something we need to get better at. That’s something we’ve been very inconsistent in.”
Graham was a little too kind. The Sun Devils have actually missed six attempts on the season.
While ASU’s first-year coach didn’t try to single out Garoutte during his Monday press conference, his reference to “we” couldn’t really be interpreted as a shot aimed towards backup kicker Jon Mora. After all, the junior has had just two garbage time attempts on the season.
Garoutte, on the other hand, has struggled mightily in 2012. His first quarter miss against Oregon now puts him at 6-for-11 on the season. He has 12 misses in 33 career attempts.
“It’s almost a deal where you have to go out there and attack it,” said Graham. “We’re almost going up there trying not to miss it. We got to do a better job of that. It’s something we haven’t done very well.”
When asked if Garoutte’s inconsistent play has opened the door for Mora to get a crack at the starting job, Graham was rather noncommittal.
“That’s the two guys we’ve got,” said Graham. “We have to have one of them step up and get better.”
Ironically, the Sun Devils host UCLA Saturday afternoon. Garoutte’s worst game as a Sun Devil came against the Bruins last season, when he went 0-for-3 in a 29-28 loss at UCLA. His night to forget was highlighted by a miss on a 46-yard attempt as time expired.