Andre Heidari made career-high four FGs vs. Utah -- a sign he has regained his form after struggling.
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCKFS West
LOS ANGELES – As
USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron put it, kicker Andre Heidari was "very close" to losing his job following the
Trojans loss at Notre Dame.
The competition opened up and Heidari proved he wasn't ready to give up his spot. Last Saturday in the Coliseum, he backed it up in a 4-of-5 field goal performance in the team's win over Utah.
Heidari's four field goals established a new career high and a sign to the kicker that he regained his form.
"I was lost in my swing pattern (and) just had to find it and I found it," Heidari said.
The junior is now 10-of-16 on the season. He missed time in 2012 after undergoing knee surgery and hasn't appeared to be the same since.
However, Heidari says his injury from a season ago didn't play a role in his kicking inconsistencies.
Instead, it was a technical thing.
Similar to golfers, who slump from time to time, Heidari's swing was lost. It was new territory for him because it was something he'd never experienced before.
"It went downhill," he said. "Those two balls I'd hit at Notre Dame went right and I haven't missed right in my career, ever."
The disappointment of the Notre Dame game stayed with Heidari. He says wasn't fully able to let go of it until he walked into the Coliseum last Saturday.
"(It was a) tough loss," Heidari said of the team's trip to Notre Dame. "I don't take losses very well. I know I could have done something about it. It (stinks) to see when your guys are competing out there and you can't do anything about it especially when you miss two field goals that I had (at Notre Dame)."
With his job on the line, Heidari stayed after practice to get in some extra kicks with Cody Kessler holding and says he nailed all 10 which gave him confidence going into the game against Utah.
After his four field goal performance to lift the Trojans to a win over the Utes, he believes his swing issues are behind him.
"I'm back to normal," Heidari said. "I feel a lot better."