Kicker Gino Garcia has big shoes to fill
It isn’t fun to talk about kickers because, especially in college, those discussions are usually centered around misses. However, over the past two years, Tech has enjoyed great success at that position with Jonathan Garribay and Trey Wolff combining to make 36 of 41 field goal attempts.
Now, the onus is on Gino Garcia to carry on that tradition of excellence at a position that often decides games. But is he ready for that job?
The Richardson, Texas native missed his only field goal try of 2022 but was 7-7 on extra points. What’s more, he’s never been in the type of high-pressure situations as a kicker that he’ll face in Big 12 games.
On the plus side, he did make 32 of 46 on FG tries during his three years at Houston Baptist (now known as Houston Christian). In fact, he was an all-conference honoree in 2021.
Still, he has to earn the trust of Texas Tech fans this fall. But for some reason, there just isn’t much talk about him this offseason and that’s puzzling.
Perhaps the lack of discussion is simply because he’s a kicker. Or maybe it’s because there isn’t a kicking competition this summer as Garcia has essentially been handed the job as he’s the only viable option on the roster.
Still, remember that last season, Tech won three games (against Houston, Texas, and Oklahoma) in overtime that all came down to important kicks at the end of regulation or in the extra period. Of course, the year prior, Tech was able to play in a bowl game only because Garibay nailed a 62-yard kick as time expired to beat Iowa State to give Tech their sixth win on the season.
Will Garcia be able to come through in the clutch in a similar fashion this year? Only time will tell but there should be more talk about whether or not this new kicker will be able to keep Tech’s run of quality at that position alive.