SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After Michigan State senior kicker Kevin Muma missed a 30-yard field goal at the end of the Spartans’ first drive in the 17-13 loss to No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday, head coach Mark Dantonio looked to true freshman Michael Geiger to become his new leg.
Geiger nailed a game-tying 25-yard field goal (first of career) to end the Spartans’ (3-1) 15-play, 75-yard opening drive of the second half, which was the longest drive in terms of plays and time of possession (8:39) any opponent put together against the Fighting Irish (3-1) this season.
The freshman followed his first-career field goal with a “difficult” 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that was into the wind.
“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.”
Geiger, a Toledo, Ohio., native, came into Michigan State ranked as one of the top kickers in the 2013 class (ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com and 247sports.com). While it was believed that Geiger was going to be redshirted this season, a missed opportunity by a senior opened the doors for the freshman to play on one of the biggest stages in all of college football.
“I come with the mentality that I’m going to take every opportunity I can get, so I prepare like I’m going to play,” Geiger said. “After Muma missed the kick we had a little discussion with Coach D, and I knew from that point forward I had to seize the opportunity.”
And seize he did.
“Right now he’s the kicker,” Dantonio said. “You don’t put him in against Notre Dame unless he’s the kicker. Took the redshirt off him, he’s the kicker.
“He’s shown great promise throughout summer camp. Obviously wasn’t perfect in that, but it’s his time now. He needs to grow up quick.”