ATLANTA — Just like any other kick.
That’s how Georgia State place-kicker Wil Lutz described his game-winning, 26-yard field goal with 4 seconds left that lifted the Panthers to a 38-37 victory over Abilene Christian last night in the Georgia Dome.
“Before the last drive, Coach [Miles] came up to me and told me that the game was going to be on me, and I told him I was ready for it,” Lutz said.
“Coach just told me, ‘I’ve done this to you plenty of times in practice, just go out there and kick it.'”
Lutz, the junior from Newnan, Ga., knew his stage was approaching as quarterback Nick Arbuckle led the offense down the field in the waning seconds.
“When Nick tucked the ball and ran for about a 20-yard gain [down to the 9-yard line], my heart dropped a little bit,” he said. “I warmed up for a second, he spiked the ball, and I ran out.
“I knew they were going to try to ice me with their last timeout, so I just jogged over, got some water and jogged back.
Lutz’s final words before the kick?
“I asked Ben [McLane, his holder] how we were going to celebrate when it’s over, and Ben said, ‘I’m probably going to throw you in the stands.'”
Lutz gave credit to McLane and new long-snapper Daniel Zeigler for a perfect operation on what could have been a tricky attempt from the right hash.
“Those short kicks from the hash can be pretty tough,” Lutz explained. “You’ve got to get your hips through it. It was kind of a line-drive kick, but my angle was good.”
In today’s world, the impact of a performance like Lutz’s is measured in social media hits.
“I think I had 29 tweets to me after the game, including SportsCenter and Sun Belt Nation, so that was pretty cool,” Lutz said. “A couple of vines and about 48 texts after the game congratulating us.
“The way I look it, it’s just the life of a kicker. You’re up one day, down the other. Now I have to have a good week of preparation for New Mexico State and maybe do it again.”
MORE NOTES FROM LAST NIGHT’S GAME
- Georgia State set a school record for total offense with 566 yards (413 passing, 153 rushing). The previous high was 514 yards vs. Campbell in 2012, the only other game in which the Panthers have topped 500 yards.
- Georgia State won on a last-second field goal for the third time in its brief history. Both other games came in the Panthers’ inaugural season of 2010
- Georgia State overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win for the third time in school history.