Coach Ellerson on switching kickers (updated)

Army senior Eric Osteen will get his first chance to kick extra points and field goals in his last home game at Michie Stadium.

Coach Rich Ellerson said he should have made the move of replacing freshman Dan Grochowski with Osteen earlier.

Grochowski has missed four of his last six field goals including two, which were blocked against Rutgers last week. He is 10-for-16 including just 3-of-7 from 42 yards or more and has missed three extra points. Grochowski ranks 10th among freshman kickers in points (54) this season.

“Groch has had an up and down year but he’s starting to get in one of these little spirals where he’s struggling to get the ball up and as he’s fighting to do that he’s slowing down a little bit,” Ellerson said. “I needed to probably get that done a little earlier for him. That’s one of the advantages we have this year. We have a guy like Eric in the wings. He’s very capable. It’s so much easier for Groch to step back and kind of retool as oppose to adjusting things in mid-stride. That’s my fault.”

Osteen, which has had 25 of his 46 kickoffs go for touchbacks, was in a battle with Grochowski for the kicking duties late in preseason camp.

Has Osteen pictured kicking a winning field goal in his final game at Michie Stadium?

“You definitely visualize it,” Osteen said. “You visualize everything as a kicker. I’m just really excited and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to finally do it.”

Senior punter Chris Boldt will hold for Osteen. The two have worked together the last four years. Freshman Andrew Ellerson will snap for Osteen.

More news on the special teams front, Ellerson said senior long snapper Frank Ceva is expected to return after missing two weeks with a knee injury. Freshman Andrew Ellerson, who snaps on field goals and extra points, misfired high on two of three punts against Rutgers.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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