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How Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football plans to address its kicking situation going forward

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Oct. 5, 2021

UL coach Billy Napier plans to use the Ragin’ Cajuns’ bye week to address kicking concerns.

Nate Snyder missed two field goal attempts and 1-of-3 PATs in UL’s 20-18 win Saturday at South Alabama.

Snyder, a graduate transfer who previously handled kickoffs at Indiana, began last year as UL’s starting kicker.

He’s kicked off for the Cajuns since the start of last year, but lost his field goals-and-PATs job to Kenneth Almendares due to short-range consistency issues during the 2020 season.

Click here for photo gallery of Nate Synder who transferred from Indiana to UL.

Snyder became the starter again after Almendares sustained a season-ending hip avulsion tear during a Sept. 25 Sun Belt Conference-opening win at Georgia Southern. Snyder’s attempts at South Alabama were his first of the year.

“We’ve got to find a better plan or execute better, one or the other,” Napier said Monday on KPEL 1420 AM, UL’s flagship radio station.

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Appalachian State next

UL (4-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) is off until playing Appalachian State on Oct. 12 (6:30 p.m., ESPN2) at Cajun Field.

Each of Snyder’s misses came in the second quarter of a game UL led 20-0 after Emani Bailey’s 15-yard touchdown run.

Snyder missed his first field goal try shortly before Bailey’s TD due to a high snap in wet weather from Bobby Hill, an experienced transfer who snapped previously for East Carolina, Nevada and Tulsa.

Snyder also missed the PAT following Bailey’s TD and a 42-yard field goal as time expired at the end of the first half, both wide right.

Snyder’s starting status

Napier suggested Snyder’s starting status is no different than other Cajun, but acknowledged there’s increased scrutiny on him.

UL’s backup to Snyder going into the South Alabama game was Logan Klotz, a freshman who hasn’t attempted a college kick. Backup punter Thomas Leo, a transfer from Florida International, also is listed as a kicker on UL’s roster.

“We’ve got a lot of players out there on our team that are competing that aren’t doing it exactly right all the time,” Napier told host Scott Prather on 1420’s The Great S.C.O.T.T. Show. “But the kicker just happens to have the spotlight on him every time he gets an opportunity.

“So we’re gonna treat it like everything else we do around here. We’re gonna create competition. We’re gonna give him feedback. We’re gonna try to correct the fundamentals and the techniques, and then we’re gonna try to do better the next time.”