Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass football’s Logan Laurent setting his sights on Starkville

(Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

It’s hard to imagine many people are feeling as good as Logan Laurent has felt this week.

The redshirt senior kicker clinched a 30-27 victory for the Massachusetts football team last Saturday, sending a 36-yard kick through the uprights in double overtime, clinching the victory over Appalachian State in heart-pounding fashion.

Laurent, from Temecula, California, was perfect on the afternoon, successfully converting all three of his field goal attempts, including a 45-yard kick with time ticking down in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 27-27 and send the two teams to overtime.

Now a few days removed from an undoubtedly emotional, career-defining battle on the gridiron, Laurent is focusing all his attention to the next task at hand.

“We try to have a 24/48 hour rule. Today, waking up this morning was probably the last of that [emotion],” Laurent said. “We really got to get on to Mississippi State, [they’re a] really good team. Obviously Appalachian State is a very good team and in order to win those kinds of games you need all three phases going. Luckily we were fortunate to have that this week.”

UMass (2-6) moves on to face Mississippi State (6-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) Saturday in Starkville and another strong performance from the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder will aide the Minutemen tremendously.

“For our confidence, for the team’s confidence, for us to win I think we need all aspects on the top of their game,” said Laurent, who graduated from Exeter High School in New Hampshire. “Playing an SEC-caliber opponent, we have played them before. It’s been a game where special teams can definitely influence it. [It’s] definitely going to be very important for me to be on my P’s and Q’s this weekend.”

Laurent’s combination of clutch kicks earned him a slot on the Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award “Stars of the Week” list announced on Monday. The weekly, national honor awards three kickers from around the country, with the final award being presented at the end of the year, given to the best place-kicker in the nation as voted by coaches, sports writers and broadcasters.

With all this national attention surrounding Laurent, the UMass swingman doesn’t plan on changing his preparation heading into the matchup with the Bulldogs.

“Kickers are very routine,” Laurent said. “Obviously doing kickoff, punt, and field goals, it’s a lot on the legs, so I’m on a kick count. Luckily my coaches are great with me with that. [I’m] just doing the same thing as last week because it ended up working out great.”

The Minutemen will be searching for their third straight victory versus Mississippi State while Laurent will be looking to replicate an incredible outing in the Magnolia State.

It’s hard to imagine the contest with the Bulldogs will offer the same amount of emotion and intrigue as last Saturday, but Laurent admitted hitting an early field goal will reduce any nerves that should come up.

“Going down there, whatever the shot is, you just got to take it,” Laurent said. “But absolutely, after you get one under you, you’re feeling a lot better.”

Ryan Ames can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

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