Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
In order for Indiana football to get over the hump and win the games they need to get back to the postseason and finish with a winning record for the first time since 2007, they will need to do all the little things correctly. One of the bigger little things is consistently hitting field goals in tough conditions. While the weather was dry and fairly warm for last Friday’s spring game in Bloomington the wind was whipping around Memorial stadium close to 20 miles per hour, making it a bit more challenging for Indiana kickers Logan Justus and Charles Campbell to connect on field goals. The good news for the Hoosiers is that the four kickers who attempted field goals hit nine-of-10.
Tom Allen and his staff had to find a replacement for Griffin Oakes, a two-time Big Ten Kicker of the Year, in the 2018 season and Allen struck gold in Logan Justus, while former five-star kicking prospect Charles Campbell redshirted and improved his craft.
“Logan (Justus), going into the last fall camp, it was neck and neck. It was even…I would have to honestly say even up until week before the first game, it could have been, depending on which day. So they…I just decided to go with…Logan was just a tad bit more accurate. But Charles (Campbell) was right there. And Logan was older, more experienced and been here. So I just felt like -- he proved me right and had a great season.” Allen said in his post spring game media session.
Justus had a spectacular season as he connected on 15-of-18 field goals, including a go-ahead 42-yarder against Maryland late in the fourth quarter and he hit 32-of-33 of his extra point attempts. Justus earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors for that game and ended the season as a Lou Groza Award Finalist.
“I told Charles, ‘Beat him out.’ Allen said, “and, ‘Logan, don't you dare let him beat you out.’ That's the mindset I want the guys competing. And that keeps them sharp. You never know. Charles has been redshirting. That year's behind him. He can kick.”
Charles Campbell seems to be up to the challenge. It would also not be a shock to see both Campbell and Justus line up for field goals this year as Allen has said in the past that preserving leg strength has been a priority and it would be beneficial to Campbell to get some all-important game reps if he is to take over the full-time job in 2020.
Indiana should feel comfortable with their place kickers this season and in the coming years if games come down to a big kick.