Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, December 4, 2015

How often do we see a game come down to a kicker needing to boot a field goal in the dying seconds to win a game? It happens usually once a season for most teams. Sometimes a few times.

What?s my point? Don?t ignore the kickers in the Big Ten title game on Saturday night, as the league championship and a spot in the playoffs may come down to their toes. Let?s meet them.

MICHIGAN STATE: Michael Geiger, 5-8, 186, junior
Who can forget the image of Geiger sprinting downfield whirling an arm after nailing 41-yard field goal as time expired to beat Ohio State? It is an epic moment in the 2015 Spartan season. But, overall, this hasn?t been a great season for Geiger, who has hit just 9-of-14 field-goal attempts (64.3 percent). In fact, this continues a two-year funk for Geiger, who had a smashing debut in 2013 but converted just 63.6 percent of his field goals in 2014. His long this season is 47 yards-and he hasn?t attempted a kick from over 50 yards. And he has had two field-goal attempts blocked and has missed two PATs. Geiger arrives in Indy having made his last two field-goal attempts.


[MORE: Championship game scoreboard | Video highlights on Twitter |  10 memorable title game videos |    88 guest predictions |  Iowa's three defining games | Michigan State's three defining games | Coaches scouting report on Spartans, Hawkeyes | What time is the game on Saturday? | Playoff Championship Committee rankings | All of our 2015 championship coverage | Watch BTN pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go]


IOWA: Marshall Koehn, 6-0, 200, senior
Few kickers in the Big Ten can match his cannon leg. Koehn has had a good season, nailing 13-of-17 field-goal attempts (76.5 percent) with no blocks. He made 75 percent of his attempts last season, including a 52-yarder. And Koehn has shown accuracy from long distance, hitting 7-of-9 from 40 yards or longer in 2015. His longest of the season was a 57-yarder in the waning moments to beat Pitt back in September, so he can bomb it under pressure. Koehn?s misses have been from 50, 27, 42 and 34 yards. He has made his last four kicks. But know this: Koehn has missed five PATs.

THE EDGE: It has to go with Koehn, a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and honorable mention by the media who is the more accurate of the two and has delivered in the clutch from a long distance.


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