Utah football: Walk-on kicker Coleman Petersen's big day wins game for the Utes
Pullman, Wash. • Before hitting the game-winning field goal in Utah's 30-27 overtime win over Washington State here, Coleman Petersen's mind went blank.
Just the way he likes it.
"When I go out to kick, I don't think about anything," he said, after being dogpiled by his teammates in a raucous postgame celebration. "Everyone always says kickers are mental cases. I don't agree with that. I just keep my mind clear and kick. It's just a field goal."
It was a little more than that on this occasion.
The outcome hinged on the thing, which Petersen punctuated with a shrug and a smile: "I felt a little pressure, I guess."
Truth is, without Petersen, a walk-on playing without a scholarship, Utah would have lost this game, and maybe others.
Saturday night, he hit from 33 yards, 45 yards and the 38-yarder at the end, handing the Utes their fourth straight victory.
"Coleman Petersen got the game ball tonight," quarterback Jon Hays said. "He deserved it. He's been great all year."
Not bad for a former soccer player from Brighton High School who decided in 10th grade that football, not fÃºtbol, was his game.
He first walked on at Utah in 2006, went on an LDS Church mission to Argentina, and knocked around until his emergence this season as a junior.
"It's exciting," he said. "I've visualized a moment like this before. But ..."
The reality was better than the vision.
"Everybody jumped on me," he said. "That was good."