While the reasons may be frustrating for Iowa fans, kicker Keith Duncan is having a heck of a year. The junior from North Carolina has hit 27 field goals this season, good enough for a new Big Ten record. And there’s still a regular season left to go.
That includes 4 field goals on Saturday from Duncan. The effort was good enough to earn him Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.
Keith Duncan earns Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week Honors for the second time this season | https://t.co/EOBH86gzBw #Hawkeyes— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) November 25, 2019
Attn. @LouGrozaAward pic.twitter.com/8MBHSyZhtg
Duncan was thought to be the future of kicking at Iowa after his late-game heroics against Michigan as a freshman. However, he lost starting duties to Miguel Recinos in 2017 and 2018. With the job Recinos did, Duncan became a bit of an afterthought with concerns entering the 2019 season about howto replace the graduating Recinos.
Those concerns have disappeared with the job Duncan has done in his junior campaign. He’s 27 of 32 on field goals with a long of 49 yards. Those 27 makes lead the nation with the second place kicker only making 23 on the year. Duncan’s also 22 of 22 on extra points.
The fact he has attempted 32 field goals and only 22 extra points is indicative of the struggles Iowa has had converting in the red zone all season. Duncan’s reliability at 84% accurate on the year have kept Iowa in the win column with an offense that’s failed to find the endzone.
Duncan seems to be keeping his cool under pressure by keeping the mood light. He and holder Colten Rastetter have had fun with their post-kick rock-paper-scissors celebration all season. Duncan has also taken to social media (don’t worry, no tweets) with some fun of late.
Congratulations to Keith Duncan. We look forward to more extra points and social media fun and less need for your tremendous field goal kicking in the future.