ATHENS - It was a little-noticed change, mainly because Marshall Morgan didn't get a chance to kick much in the South Carolina game. But Georgia's freshman kicker said he made a slight tweak in his kicking motion.
Morgan has actually been pretty solid so far, going 4-for-5 on field goals with a good kickoff average. His extra points have been erratic, but he said the change wasn't aimed at that; It should help on short and long kicks.
And it wasn't something Morgan came up with during the bye week.
"Actually, I knew there was something that had to be going wrong. Before the South Carolina game I changed it up a little bit," Morgan said. "Normally it's three steps back and two steps to the left. But I just widened up the steps, which allows my leg to get more elongated. Because I was kind of jamming myself in getting over the ball."
Morgan said he came up with the tweak himself, after watching film.
"It allows my leg to get longer and get more of the ball," he said. "That's what's allowed me to get better, further kicks. Even on kickoffs I widened out my width a little bit. It allows you to crank more into it, kind of like a shot-putter."
Georgia didn't try a field goal in Columbia, and there was just one extra point try. (Morgan made it without issue.) His two kickoffs were pretty good, one going for a touchback, and another only being returned 22 yards by South Carolina's Bruce Ellington.
Morgan is averaging 63.5 yards on kickoffs this season, including nine touchbacks. He's been alternating there with senior walk-on Jamie Lindley; the pair have almost the same number of attempts, with nearly identical stats.
But Morgan has gotten every field goal attempt, his only miss coming in the season opener against Buffalo, on a 45-yarder. But he has made a couple field goals from beyond 50 yards. The extra points have been an adventure, with two missed, another blocked and a couple more boinking off the uprights. Still, the extra-point issues haven't cost Georgia yet.
"I'm happy with my season. Just more room to improve," Morgan said. "I'm just having a good outlook on the season."