The past two years, Rogers had proven that when, after missing an extra point attempt or a short field goal, he allowed that miscue to play mind games with him. He let the doubts creep into his brain and into his leg. He had a hard time forgetting the mistake.
year, through, has been different. He missed the short field goal against
He's not letting the mistakes affect his psyche any more, and to a Bearcats squad that has watched him struggle with his emotions during his freshman and sophomore seasons - and a team that will need to count on him to help defend the Big East title - that must be a relief.
Yet, he's also learned to relax.
"I roomed with Jake his true freshman year, and I've seen the same changes," senior center Chris Jurek said. "With Kevin Huber doing so well, Kevin took him under his wing and taught him some of the ropes and how he should carry himself. Jake has matured as a player and as a person."
taking over more responsibilities for the Bearcats. Namely, he's won the punting
job, as well, and he's performed well. He's averaging 41.3 yards per kick, and
he's dropped five punts inside the 20-yard line (against only one touchback). Before
And honestly, he just looks like a different player.
"The way I've carried myself this season as opposed to the last two seasons, I know I'm here for a reason," he said. "There's no point in being nervous anymore. You're out there to kick field goals and you're out there to make them. Everyone misses one. Even the pros miss. Nobody is perfect. That's the mindset you have to have."
Jones sat out much of Tuesday's practice with a huge ice pack on his lower left
leg, and Brian Kelly said he's going to be limited for practice this week and
who didn't practice at all last week and sat out the
"It's just cranky," Kelly said. "He's better. He can probably play a little bit. This week, he's practicing a little bit, and I think he'll get in some emergency work. But it's been tough on him. We're OK now because we've got Curtis Young back. It gives us the flexibility. We're OK, but I'd like to get him back. He helps us, because he's a more athletic kid."