OXFORD • The most important lesson learned by Ole Miss student Luke Logan last year came on Thanksgiving night when classes were not in session.
It was then that Logan, the Rebels’ kicker, pushed a 35-yard extra point wide right and set off a mad celebration – of Mississippi State fans – as the Rebels suffered a 21-20 Egg Bowl loss.
The game made national news more than it would have otherwise because of what happened before the missed kick when wide receiver Elijah Moore made Logan’s job harder with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Still Logan’s pressure kick to tie the game and force overtime was from 35 yards from where he’d hit seven of nine field goals last season, the most effective range of his distance.
“I was so eager to see where the ball went that I looked up way too early. It’s little things like that,” he said. “It’s like a golf swing. You have to keep your head down.”
The technical flaw on that kick was costly, but Logan said it’s taught him the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity especially for players who aren’t on the field for more than one play at a time.
“This position that kickers, punters and long-snappers are in … you get three or four opportunities a game, and when you don’t capitalize on them it can really stick with you,” he said.
A senior from Hattiesburg, Logan attempted fewer field goals in 2019 as a junior than he did in 2018 when he hit 22 of 27 for 81.5 percent.
Last year he connected on just 11 of 19 for 57.9 percent.
In 34 previous attempts he’d missed one extra point prior to the Egg Bowl.
Throughout camp Logan has been involved in a competition for his job which includes Casey Griffith, Cale Nation and Land Gebhart.
Logan remains the leader.
He says he’s felt nothing but support from teammates since the Egg Bowl finish.
“The next couple of days after that were really tough,” he said, “but I had a great supporting cast around me. The brotherhood in a team and in a locker room is really something that not everybody gets to experience. Having 120 guys behind me, that alone was enough to get me back up and out of that.”
It took a while after the Egg Bowl for Logan to re-watch the kick.
Now he says he’s emotionally repaired and as confident as he’s ever been heading into a season.
He credits the rebound to the coaching staff and the increased amount of situational practice he’s received in practice.
“This coaching staff is really good,” Logan said. “I feel like I’m the best I’ve been in my five years here for sure.”