Redshirt freshman kicker Ron Coluzzi said that he dreams of kicking a game-winning field goal every day.
Coluzzi’s dream came true when football beat New Hampshire 24-21 on Saturday.
“It’s the same thing every time,” Coluzzi said. “You see your snapper, Mike Zenk, who gave me a bullet and Connor Gagnon with a great hold. They never mess up. I really appreciate them.”
With three seconds left in the game and the score tied at 21, Coluzzi lined up for a 27-yard field goal attempt. The ball boomed through the uprights and into the student section for Coluzzi’s first career game-winning kick.
“I’ve done it so many times in practice,” Coluzzi said. “I’ve been kicking since I was eight-years-old. I’ve practiced game-winning kicks everyday, and it was just like practice.”
Head coach Dan Enos has watched Coluzzi grow from the previous year.
“We needed him, and he stepped up,” Enos said. “The way he came out today and hit the kick is very encouraging. Ron has come a long way since arriving here. The best thing we could ever do for Ron was redshirt him last year. He has toughened himself up. If you don’t have a kicker, it makes a lot of things difficult.”
Coluzzi said his biggest change from last year to this year is his confidence and consistency. “I’d say I’ve improved upon my consistency,” Coluzzi said. “I believe in myself. I use the big word ‘confidence.’ My coaches got me ready for the season. I owe it to them, working with them any way possible. They got me ready.”
Leading up to the kick, Coluzzi’s teammates huddled around him.
“They said, ‘We got you,’” Coluzzi said. “’Make or miss, we are behind you 100 percent.’ That’s all I needed to hear. All I need is the support from my teammates and coaches.”
Coluzzi said kicking in front of more than 100,000 fans at Michigan Stadium in week one didn’t faze him, and neither did the game-winning kick.
His teammate and defensive end Louis Palmer does, though.
After the kick, Coluzzi immediately turned around streaking downfield waving his finger in the air, but then Coluzzi unexpectedly dove into the ground.
“To be honest with you, I saw Louis Palmer running after me,” Coluzzi said. “I thought he was going to tackle me. I’m not going to have that. I’m going to dive and call it a day.”
Palmer jumped on Coluzzi anyway, as did the rest of the football team.