John Wallace remains humble in success

John Wallace remains humble in success

University of Louisville redshirt freshman kicker John Wallace visited with with Cardinal Authority following Tuesday's practice and talked about making the big kick and more.

University of Louisville red shirt freshman kicker John Wallace has helped the 16th-ranked Cardinals reach this point in the season with an unblemished record by remaining perfect himself.

Prior to arriving at U of L in 2011, Wallace had a great career at Central Hardin High School, where he finished with 32 career field goals, which ranks second all-time in Kentucky history. He was known for having a strong leg and had multiple field goals at or near 50 yards.

How far can he kick it?

"I don't know," he said after Tuesday‘s practice. "I like kicking long ones."

Wallace has continued to prove his long-distance abilities during his first season as Louisville's full-time kicker.

With the Cardinals trailing 21-14 late in the first half at Pittsburgh last week, Wallace was called upon to convert a 45-yard field goal to cap a potential momentum shifting drive. His kick had plenty of distance and height when it went through the uprights with just 2 seconds remaining.

"I knew I had to make that kick to get us some momentum going into halftime," he explained. "I knew that I had to make that one."

His experience at Pittsburgh wasn't his first significant field goal of the season.

His previous career high came in the second half of the Cardinals 39-34 victory over visiting North Carolina. His early fourth quarter 43-yard field goal was the only Louisville score of the second half. A 38-yard field goal in the monsoon conditions at Southern Miss was a momentum builder in Louisville's come from behind win.

"I have to stay humble, so I can keep making them," Wallace told Cardinal Authority.

On the season, Wallace has converted all five of his field goal attempts and is 16-of-17 on his point after conversions. He credits his performance on the confidence that the coaching staff has expressed, as well as the sometimes difficult approach to the season.

"They show me all the confidence that I need for this year. Before the season, they kind of broke me down a little bit, which was a good thing. Now they are boosting me back up, so that's helped out a bunch. It helps me to keep working hard."

Kickers are often thrust into game-changing and anxiety-filled situations. Wallace says the key is to remain focused on the task.

"I just focus on my technique and try to just focus on my job. I try to put all the confidence that I can in my head and tell myself that I'm going to make it. If I go out with a bad mindset, I'm going to miss it."

Louisville is off to it's best start since the program's 2006 Orange Bowl season.

"We've gotten off to a good start and hopefully we can keep it up," said Wallace. "I feel like everything is starting to click now. We've haven't shown our full potential, but hopefully that will start to show up even more as the season goes on. We have to stay focused. I have to make sure I keep up my work ethic and not let myself fade away at all. I don't want to get complacent with how I'm doing and hopefully the team will be the same way. I'm sure we will, that's how we always approach things."

Louisville will host South Florida on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast on ABC.

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