As we wrap up the 2015 season, many fans will be disappointed by the team's 7-6 record on a season that started out with so much optimism and ended with a thud on Christmas Eve in the Hawaii Bowl, a 42-7 loss to San Diego State. However, there were many standout individual performances for the Bearcats over the 2015 season that should be recognized. Over the next month, we will examine the 20 best individual performances over the course of the season.
The first entry on the list perhaps should be higher on the list, as he was one of the more steady players on the team with a 77% field goal success percentage, and a 98% success rate with the PAT. Kicker Andrew Gantz had a very solid season, placing third in the conference in field goal percentage, and make several big kicks throughout the season, including a game-winner against East Carolina in their final win of the season.
Though he missed a PAT in the game (his only miss of the season), as well as a field goal that would have put them ahead with four minutes to play, Gantz knocked in two other field goals, one from over 50 yards, and the other a game-winner from 42 yards to beat the Pirates, 19-16. He also hit a 51-yard field goal against Miami earlier in the year.
Though the East Carolina game was the only game where Gantz made a pivotal kick with the game on the line, he put up strong performances throughout the year. In a win against Miami, he successfully knocked in three field goals on three attempts, two of which were over 40 yards. He successfully kicked four field goals the next week, though he did have a bad miss on a short field goal during the game.
Like many kickers do, Gantz led the team in points, and was about as consistent as one could ask of a college kicker. Having a consistent kicker is huge to any team's success, as it helps take the pressure off the offense, knowing they have a reliable kicker that can score them points even if they don't make it in the endzone.
As a sophomore, Gantz still has more time left in Cincinnati, and should provide some stability at the kicking position for next year.