The last time Michigan State freshman Michael Geiger kicked a field goal it was in a high school all-star game – a far cry from where he found himself Saturday.
With more than 80,000 people packed into Notre Dame Stadium, the true freshman found himself in the middle of a rivalry game after Kevin Muma was pulled following a 30-yard missed field goal.
“The last field goal I made I probably made against a crowd that was probably 5,000 – maybe less,” Geiger said. “It was in all-star game. So this was definitely an incredible atmosphere to play my first game in. I’m thankful to come away with two good field goals.”
Muma’s miss – his second short miss of the season – resulted in the promising freshman getting his first chance to kick in the green and white. His first attempt came on an extra point.
“I come in with the mentality that I am going to take every opportunity that I can get,” Geiger said. “So I prepare like I’m going to play. After Muma missed the kick, we had a little discussion with Coach D and I knew from that point forward that I had to seize the opportunity.”
Geiger connected on field goals of 25 and 42 yards, with the latter coming into a stiff southbound wind.
“It was difficult,” he said. “I was looking up into the student section first time kicking toward them. I was definitely excited for an opportunity and I knew I had the leg from 42 in the wind.”
Geiger is the third true freshman to play this season, joining cornerback Darian Hicks and wide receiver R.J. Shelton.
Coach Mark Dantonio said now that the redshirt has been taken off Geiger, he is the kicker.
”Right now, he’s the kicker,” Dantonio said. “You don’t put him in against Notre Dame unless he’s the kicker. … He’s shown great promise throughout summer camp. Obviously wasn’t perfect in that, but it’s his time now.”