ANN ARBOR, Mich. - "I know that sounds kind of confusing," Jim Harbaugh said Monday when he explained the unusual way Michigan football will handle field goals and extra points between starting kickers Jake Moody and Quinn Nordin.
When Michigan's second drive against Middle Tennessee State stalled at the 16-yard line, it was Moody who took the field and banged a 34-yard field goal through the uprights.
Considering Moody's finish to last season -- he made 10 of 11 field goal attempts after taking over for Nordin in the final three games -- his early appearance suggested he had won the starting job once again.
According to Harbaugh, that's not exactly the case.
"All through training camp, the kickers were practically dead even," Harbaugh said. "They were like one kick apart, one made field goal apart, with the same amount of attempts -- over 50 attempts. We decided they were dead even and the plan was this past game, and I think it will be going forward this week as well, depending on practice -- the plan was the kicker that was one kick ahead was Jake Moody. He would kick the first field goal, and then we would rotate every field goal between the two kickers -- Jake then Quinn."
But with five seconds remaining before halftime, Moody got Michigan's second field goal try, as well, converting the 27-yard chip shot.
That's where the rules of this kicking duo get a bit confusing, Harbaugh said.
"I threw one little caveat in there that if it was the field goal kicker's turn to kick the field goal on that particular drive, he'd also kick the extra point," Harbaugh said. "But if we had three extra points in a row, that would constitute a field goal and then the other kicker -- it would be his turn."
That explanation checks out, as Nordin kicked the extra points on each of Michigan's three touchdown drives between field goal attempts.
"Each one knew if it was a drive who would be making the kick or the extra point," Harbaugh said. "It actually cleared it up so we knew exactly what kicker would be kicking on each drive so we wouldn't have two kickers running out there or two kickers warming up on the net."
Moody finished the game with six points after converting both of his field goal attempts.
Nordin added a fourth extra point on the team's final touchdown of the second half. The Wolverines elected to go for two after their fourth touchdown to go up by 21 points, but the attempt failed.
In the end, Nordin went a perfect 4 for 4 on PATs.
Harbaugh wants to continue using this strategy.
"I would imagine that -- I think we would do the same thing this week," Harbaugh said. "It was nice to see the guys effective knowing when they're going to kick, and they all made their kicks."
Nordin has made 30 of 40 field goal attempts and 84 extra points in his career. Moody is now 12 for 13 on field goals and 5 for 5 on PATs over the last four games.
You can watch Harbaugh's full press conference below.
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