Moody or Nordin - Who Is Our "Shoe in the Shoe"

Submitted by Mike Damone on November 20th, 2018 at 9:53 AM

Can't believe we have a kicking controversy heading to Columbus.  Assuming Nordin is over his illness, who does Harbaugh go with?  Moody went 6 for 6 on Saturday and looked rock solid - you know you kicked ass when your starting QB changes your name from "Hey You" to "The Sniper".  And Nordin has been shaky all year, so in some ways it seems like a no-brainer - go with the hot hand, the Sniper who set a new Michigan single game record with that 6 for 6.

BUT - all of Moody's 6 field goals were in an incredibly tight and short range - the smallest a 23 yarder, the longest of the 6 being 33 yards!  And while the FGs he hit were critical in this Indiana game - they were still at home.  The kid is a true freshman - a preferred walk-on  I believe who now has a scholarship.  In a tie game - can you send in the kid and count on him to hit a 42 yarder in the Horseshoe?  I have no idea - with either of our guys.

Harbaugh stated in the press conference they would "evaluate" it this week.  Don't think he stated there would be a competition.  At this stage - unless one of them is just shanking them - not sure that practice could ever emulate game conditions of a Michigan-OSU game.

If it were me - I would have to go with Moody.  But that is why Harbaugh makes the big bucks.  

Hope it doesn't come down to critical long field goals - but rooting for both Moody and Nordin to be ready to do their job.

Go Blue!!!



November 20th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

Anything under 40:  Moody.


Anything 40 or over:  Nordin.


Assuming both don't look particularly terrible in practice this week or in warm-ups.


I know it's an unconventional approach, what with a limited number of scholarships and with kicker's "head games/confidence" issues.  But I've actually always thought an extra scholarship or two would be worth spending if it could guarantee you TWO "dead ringer" kickers if needed.  Basically a howitzer distance guy, and then somebody who maybe is INCREDIBLY accurate/consistent but maybe can only go from 35 yards or shorter.

Like having both a very good driver & an incredible putter both available in your golf bag.

Mike Damone

November 20th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

A well thought out opinion - but do we even know if Moody is any less accurate in practice from 40-45?  You don't need a big leg to make it from that distance (unless you are going against a strong wind).  Accuracy much more important factor from 40-45.

Again - glad I am not making the decision.



November 20th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

He went for 58 in high school. I know that was not so long ago for him. But, why wouldn't we think that he's improved?

It's ultimately ridiculous for us to discuss this when we have zero data and zero expertise. How about the coaches who are actually watching them, and who know how to do this, make the decision.

Let's just cheer hard for whomever they put out there...


November 20th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

People were pointing out that several of Moody's kicks against Indiana wouldn't have been good from another 10-20 yards out.  That's the argument for not having him kick anything longer than 40.  

However, maybe for longer kicks he can adjust and put the ball where it needs to be.  I guess we'd have to see how he's doing in practice to know the right answer here.

One thing for certain, though, Nordin is really struggling.  It feels like very ball that comes off his foot lately has been a knuckle ball.  I hope he can get that sorted out because personally I would not send him out there like this, unless I knew there was no chance Moody could hit it.  



November 20th, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

Nordin seems to think that he has to "do more" to justify his recruiting rankings and the attention that he was given during his recruitment.  I have seen him talking shit to other teams after making  field goals, that is really odd.  It seems to be that he thinks he needs to do more to prove himself as super important aspect of the team and that he screwed his head up doing so.  He is, after all, just a kicker.  There is only so much you can.  Make kicks or not.  There is no way to be a "super bad ass kicker" like he appears to think he needs to be.  Just my observation/opinion. 


November 20th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

Totally in favor of this approach.  Take the hot hand for the ones that you should be converting to points and then for those that sometimes can be more tossups go with the foot that has proven he can do it.  It also helps to try and keep Jake a little more rested as he needs to boom kickoffs out of the end zone.  We don't want them getting return yardage.

Hopefully Quinn will have taken the time to work out the kinks in his head while fighting whatever illness he had.  


November 20th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

Moody had an opportunity on Saturday to shine.  He took advantage of that opportunity and made all the kicks he was asked to make.  I know they were short kicks, but I would go with Moody all the way.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Agree. And, while they might have been short kicks, outside of the last one and it's terrible snap (with brilliant hold), Moody's kicks were smooth and pretty much right down the middle. I don't know what Moody's comfortable range is, even though he has a 58 yrd FG from high school, but unless he can only kick under 40 yards, I don't think we see Nordin. He's looked shaky all year long. Like a golfer who lost his swing.


November 20th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

I think looking at Harbaugh's tendencies would be a good place to start. Obviously he touts meritocracy. And, just as obviously, illness and injury don't mean that he'll automatically restore a guy's starting job when he comes back.

But it also seems like he doesn't like changing plans midseason. My read is that once a personnel decision is made he sticks with it barring injury or extraordinary circumstances. There are really two questions here:

1) Is Nordin really ill or injured?

2) Did 3 games of NOT having confidence in a kicker reset Harbaugh's mental model?

If 1=No and 2=No, then I bet Nordin gets a shot to reclaim the job.

If 1=No and 2=Yes, then I bet Moody is the guy.

If 1=Yes and 2=No, then I bet Nordin gets a shot to reclaim the job.

If 1=Yes and 2=Yes, then I bet Moody is the guy.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Nordin been missing even close field goals, like the ones Moody made on Saturday? If this is accurate, then I don't see how you choose Nordin over Moody. Perhaps Moody can't hit the 55 yarder, but I would take a guaranteed 35 and a shaky 55 yarder over shaky no matter where you kick from. 


November 20th, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

Nordin is 8/9 inside 40 yards. Some of the makes have been those dreaded knucklers though which don't instill conficence. It's so bizarre that the kid can kick the crap out of the ball but like half his kicks have been coming off as knuckleballs, doesn't make sense to me. I've never seen a kicker do that before. If it were me I'd also go with Moody because at least all his kicks we've seen have come off clean besides the one where Hart wasn't able to get the laces around. With Moody being a true freshman and Nordin struggling with the knucklers, I'll be holding my breath every kick either way. 

Put it through the uprights, please.

Oh Deer

November 20th, 2018 at 10:02 AM ^

Would have to go with Moody. I know all of the kicks were short, but the rotation on all of his looked good. Even when he makes a kick, Nordin's kicks often look ugly.  Not sure what Moody's range is, but would certainly give him the chance to secure his position as the kicker.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

We don't have a kicking controversy. Nordin has looked shaky all year, and he lost his job last weekend. Moody has a strong a leg inside of 50 as Nordin. He normally kicks the ball out of the endzone on kickoffs. We are suddenly fine in that area.

B1GGY smalls

November 20th, 2018 at 10:15 AM ^

Moody is our foot in the Shoe. If we're forced to try 45 yards or more, we'll have to try Nordin. I hate the thought that we would be "forced" to try a 45 yard or longer field goal. Would be a great morale booster to Nordin though if a kick came down to this. However, with knuckleball after knuckleball leaves me feeling not real confident. But, if  a boomer of a field goal is needed, call his number.

Mr. Owl

November 20th, 2018 at 10:17 AM ^

I'm in the Moody for field goals.

It's kinda nice having to choose between two kickers who both set records in their first games.  Everything would depend on what is seen behind the scenes.  How sick was Nordin?  How has he looked in practice?  How consistent is Moody over 45?  How does Nordin handle being benched & watching Moody kick so well?  Would Nordin consider kicking off & being a long FG specialist?


November 20th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

At this crucial stage of the season, gotta go with Moody. UM sideline reporter, Doug Karsch, noted a week ago right after a particularly ugly-but-successful PAT try that Nordin always looks flawless in pregame warm-ups: smooth motion, great distance, nice ball rotation. Once the game starts, Nordin seems to try too hard and the good form goes out the window. Next Spring and Fall camps, let Moody, Nordin, and any other PK combatants battle anew for the job. We're in playoff mode now. Go with the hot hand (I mean foot).


November 20th, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

A good field goal kicker has the tendency to be overlooked when you're a double digit favorite almost every week (or find yourself in a classic look-ahead dog fight).

That time in the 2018 season is officially over and so is this thread. The kicker is Jake Moody. If I see Quinn Nordin trot out there on Saturday I'm going to lose my shit.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

It has to be Moody. Nordin just hasn't looked right. I think he's hurt. Roll with the person least likely to lose the game, and I think that's Moody. Rest Nordin, let him heal up and be ready for bowl season, or worst case next season.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:50 AM ^


Unless there is a 50+ yard attempt looming before the end of the half or to win the game and the staff is aware that Moody doesn't have that type of leg strength (none of us really know this answer), only then would I give Nordin the go ahead. 


November 20th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

easy one, you can bet there will be about a thousand practice kicks this week from all conceivable distances and placements and the coaches will go with whoever does the best in practice and in warmups. 


November 20th, 2018 at 11:25 AM ^

Moody all the way. And that kid’s leg Is STRONG. He can definitely hit a 50-yarder in gametome conditions. I’ve heard he routinely hits 55-yarders in practice.  And...he was MONEY in high school. 

4th and Go For It

November 20th, 2018 at 11:43 AM ^

Nordin's a good kicker and may yet regain his form. Seems he's got the yips a bit this year but even if that's not the case in practice, I think you have to go with Moody on most everything outside of crazy long distances. His 6 kicks looked better than the 8 that Quinn's made inside of 40 yards so far. Go with Moody, sort it out in bowl practice/spring.