McCrane a Consistent Force for the Wildcats

The redshirt freshman kicker for Kansas State knows how to keep his cool - even when there are 50,000-plus sets of eyes upon him.
"It's the same kick every time," McCrane told the curious media when asked how he stays calm on the field. "None of (the hype) really plays a factor in my head. The distance of a kick doesn't matter to me because it's just the same kick every single time."
As consistent with his words as he is with his kicks, McCrane has attempted that "same kick" numerous times and, in the Wildcats' last four games, he has been a perfect 6-for-6 in field goals and 19-for-19 in extra point conversions.
His best kick of the year came in Saturday's 23-0 win over Texas where he hit a career-long 38-yard field goal. McCrane was called upon to kick three field goals in the Wildcats' shutout win from distances of 19 yards, 30 yards and 38 yards, and he did so with ease.
"The first drive of the game, I wished we could have put it in there, but having that short field goal made my confidence level go up a little," explained McCrane about his 19-yarder against Texas in the game's opening minutes. "But whatever opportunity I have, I'm just going to make the best of it."
Making the best of each opportunity is easier said than done when you're the center of attention - that's a fact even K-State head coach Bill Snyder recognizes. 
"How would you like to be out there? Isn't it something?" said Snyder on Saturday afternoon when asked about McCrane. "When you put 11 guys on the field, offense and defense, you can hide, you know? Nobody sees a mistake most of the time, but if you're a kicker, and there's 53,000 people, all 53,000 are right on him. I'm proud of Matt, I'm very proud of him."
Snyder said he and the coaching staff have a strong confidence in McCrane's ability to make big kicks, and game in and game out, the freshman's teammates have also seen his confidence growing.
 
"I think he's done great," said senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett. "Matt's been consistent since camp, even in the spring he was consistent. I think one of the big things is that he just takes advantage of the moment... and every time he makes it, makes it, makes it, it just puts more confidence in him."
A native of Brownwood, Texas, McCrane's performance against the Longhorns had added significance as he grew up wearing burnt orange every Saturday of every fall. His father, Steven, is a graduate of the University of Texas, and a die-hard Longhorn football fan - until Matt came to K-State, that is. 
"To be on the field and get playing time against Texas, I was definitely grateful for that," said McCrane with a smile. "A dream of mine growing up was to play for Texas, but now that I'm a Wildcat, I definitely love being at K-State and I enjoyed getting points on the board for the Wildcats. It was a dream come true."
A dream come true and a perfect performance, the young kicker can count on his coaches and teammates to continue to look to him to make big kicks for the Wildcats the remainder of this season.
And that's just fine with him.
"I'm pretty confident with the way I'm kicking the ball right now, and as long as I continue to do that, I think that it will help us out," said McCrane. "I've just got to trust God, and whatever his plan is for me, I'll just go along with it. If I hit some field goals, I'll be pretty happy." 
K-State's game this weekend against Oklahoma State is slated for 7 p.m., in Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will be aired on ABC. For more on this weekend's game, click here.
 

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