Oct. 28, 2013
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Win or lose, Mike Meyer is typically the first Hawkeye football player to meet with media for postgame interviews. Win or lose, Meyer is typically the most soft-spoken of the bunch, keeping an even keel regardless of his performance or outcome of the game.
Perhaps that consistent demeanor contributes to his success. He understands how to pick himself up after a miss and he stays grounded after a crucial make.
Meyer has been doing it that way for the Hawkeyes for four seasons after joining the team as a walk-on from Wahlert High School in Dubuque, Iowa. On Saturday, during a 17-10 overtime win against Northwestern, Meyer converted a 38-yard field goal and tacked on two extra points for five points. That gives him 291 career points and moves him ahead of Rob Houghtlin for second on Iowa's all-time scoring list.
"It is pretty cool to hear now," Meyer sheepishly told a reporter, confessing he was oblivious to the mark.
But Meyer wasn't in the Kinnick Stadium interview room Saturday to revel in personal milestones. He wants to focus on the final four or five games of his career.
"I haven't given much thought to it," Meyer said. "We are still in the middle of the season and every game means a lot. There is time for that after the season. Right now I have to focus on getting better after this game."
"I haven't given much thought to it. We are still in the middle of the season and every game means a lot. There is time for that after the season. Right now I have to focus on getting better after this game."
UI senior kicker
This season the Hawkeyes are 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big Ten Conference and Meyer is the team's leading scorer with 56 points. He has made 10-of-14 field goals and all 26 point-after kicks. That gives him 107 consecutive PATs, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation and fifth-best all-time in the Big Ten.
Still, you are more likely to hear the sound of a Nike shoe striking a leather football above the roar of 70,000 fans in Kinnick Stadium before you would hear Meyer boast.
He is 3-of-4 this season on field goal attempts of 44 or more yards, but misfired from 42 yards Saturday into a stiff and swirling north wind late in a tie game.
"I got ahead of myself," Meyer said of the rare miss. "The snap and hold got down, I got ahead of myself and lost concentration at the end."
He was eager for another chance at a game-winner. With 15 seconds left, the Hawkeyes opted against a 52-yard field goal attempt and tried to convert on fourth-and-11.
"Redemption would have been good, but we won the game in the end," Meyer said. "I was back there waiting if they called my name. Whatever decision coach (Kirk) Ferentz went with, I was going to take it and go with it."
At the time, the ball was on the Wildcat 35-yard line and Ferentz wanted to get at least a first down to the 24 before calling on the kicking unit.
"We figured let the clock go down, try to convert, and if we did, we had two timeouts to get the field goal then," Ferentz said. "(Meyer) would have nailed it. I'm confident of that."
Meyer returned to the field one more time Saturday, kicking a PAT after a Jake Rudock-to-C.J. Fiedorowicz 8-yard game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.
"That was good to get one under my belt after the miss," Meyer said. "It was good to get that out of the way."
Only Nate Kaeding, who scored 373 career points from 2000-03, has totaled more as a Hawkeye than Meyer.
Meyer has an opportunity to add more points when Iowa hosts Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1) on Nov. 2 with an 11 a.m. (CT) start in Kinnick Stadium.