IOWA CITY, Ia. – Let’s play a little Iowa football trivia.
Can you name the player who is No. 2 on the school’s all-time scoring list?
“It just seems to be too weird of a subject for me to think about,” said senior kicker Mike Meyer, the trivia answer. “I haven’t really put thought to it.”
Meyer, with 308 career points, is a little uneasy when it comes to talking about his place in Hawkeye history.
The former walk-on from Dubuque has risen from humble origins and earned a spot behind former Iowa all-American and NFL all-pro kicker Nate Kaeding, who scored 373 points from 2000 to 2003.
It’s a nifty feel-good story, yet few would probably recognize the slender 6-foot-2, 190-pound Meyer strolling through a shopping mall.
How does he feel about keeping statistical company with an icon like Kaeding?
“It’s definitely weird, especially with everything he’s accomplished in his career,” Meyer said of Kaeding. “Just to be associated with his name is something special.”
Meyer hopes his final appearance at Kinnick Stadium — an 11 a.m. Saturday showdown with Michigan — is memorable.
He’s endured the pendulum swings of an athlete under scrutiny and emerged as a steady performer, converting 59 of 76 field goals (77.6 percent) and hitting 112 consecutive point-after kicks.
“I’m not saying his career is Nate Kaeding’s career, but there are some parallels in that Nate had his ups and downs early and then just really hardened through the process,” Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I think Mike has had his ups and downs, too.”
Meyer made his debut in 2010 as a kickoff specialist and eventually took over the place-kicking responsibilities.
Since then, everything has kind of been a blur.
He hasn’t celebrated a snapshot moment on par with Kaeding’s 47-yard, Alamo Bowl-winning field goal in 2001, or even Daniel Murray’s 31-yard boot to beat Penn State in 2008.
“Overtime last year at Michigan State was pretty special,” Meyer said, referring to field goals 27 and 42 yards that lifted Iowa to a 19-16 victory.
There have also been games he would like to forget.
“I’ve had a couple of those,” Meyer said. “Minnesota my sophomore year…”
Two misses against the Gophers in 2011 contributed to a 22-21 loss.
“I think I’ve been pretty lucky overall,” Meyer said. “My family has been with me through everything.
“The one moment that hits me the most is, after Minnesota, I was pretty down. James Ferentz (a former lineman) came up to me and just gave me a little talk.
“I think that was the point where I felt my teammates were still behind me.”
Meyer is 14 of 18 on field goals this fall, with two of the misses coming from beyond 40 yards.
He’s also recorded 26 touchbacks on 54 kickoffs.
“Everybody has got opinions about kickers because what they do is very visible,” Kirk Ferentz said. “When they perform, it’s all out there for people.
“But he’s really done a great job and he’s done a great job on kickoffs, too, which was kind of under the radar a little bit, but really important to a football team.”
IOWA’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Player — Points-TD-PAT-FG
Nate Kaeding (2000-03) — 373 — 1 — 166 — 67
Mike Meyer (2010-13) — 308 — 0 — 131 — 59
Rob Houghtlin (1985-87) — 290 — 0 — 128 — 54
Tom Nichol (1981-84) — 277 — 0 — 142 –45
Kyle Schlicher (2004-06) — 260 — 0 — 107 — 51
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football