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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 25, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Michael Barbour

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

When Mike Barbour transferred to East Carolina from Maryland, the Pirates knew he could kick the football. But following a stellar first campaign in 2010, Barbour – who is in his final season with the Pirates – has little room for improvement.

After going 16-of-18 in field goals, including a perfect mark from 40-yards and closer, and connecting on 56-of-57 PAT attempts, Barbour has gotten the attention of the national pundits. He was named to the Lou Groza Award watch list heading into the 2011 season as a candidate to be the best placekicker in the land. In an offense that would prefer to see the placekicker only kicking PATs, Barbour still managed to set a school single-season scoring record for placekickers with 104 points as well as setting the mark for number of PATs made in a season and tying the standard for second longest FG with his 52-yarder against UAB.

Michael was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Michael Barbour (39) in action last season (ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Michael Barbour

Q: A year ago, you just kind of showed up, took the kicking job and then proceeded to be a machine kicking field goals and PATs. Did you expect last season to go as well as it did for you?

A: I didn’t really have any stats that I would have predicted for myself. I just trusted in myself and what I have been trained to do. I knew if I did that, I could expect a good outcome, so I am not shocked by it at all. But, I didn’t really have any expectations going in.

Q: With this offense, do you feel you have more or less opportunities to impact a game?

A: Field goal wise, I would say that I get fewer opportunities because we are an aggressive offense. Usually when we get into the red zone we convert for a touchdown. Whenever we are in a 4th-and-short, we usually go for it because we are pretty confident in the offense. But PAT-wise, it is pretty high there because we score a lot of touchdowns. But, yeah, definitely takes away from field goal attempts, so I’ve got to make every opportunity count.

Q: Put into words how much of a relief it is or important it is for a kicker to know he has his holder and snapper back?

A: That is when you are good, because we all rely on each other and know each other's little mannerisms and how each will react to certain situations. We have a great chemistry and having everyone back is a big advantage for us.

Q: You come into this season now with the nation aware of you as a kicker (Lou Groza watch list) and with our offense, you get some opportunities but maybe not as many as you might like. Do you think about things like the award? What is it like for a placekicker in an offense that would prefer to see you kicking only PATs?

A: I’ve seen that, but I really don’t think much of (being on the watch list). You know it is just a watch list. I don’t take a lot from it because it doesn’t have anything to do with how I am going to perform this season. It is based off of last season and how I did then.

Q: If you weren’t the placekicker, what position would you want to play instead and why?

A: Well… if I was a little faster and quicker, I would probably be a receiver. I have a good pair of hands, but nothing else for that position here.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: That is a tough question. I respect everybody, really. I can't really choose one person so I will choose a position group that I really respect. The O-line. They just take a beating every day and they are the backbone of the team, both O-line and D-line. I give them the most respect.

Q: Where do you put yourself right now in terms of readiness to start the 2011 season?

A: Yeah, I have a grove going, but there are always things to work on… nobody’s perfect. Right now, I am working on some things. You know, if you’re not working on something than there is probably something wrong with you.

Q: Obviously, the Military Bowl did not go well for ECU, but you did hit two FGs. What was that like to take on your former team?

A: Maybe there was a little personal vendetta there… really, more like a friendly rivalry there for me. I had a lot of friends on that team. Obviously, I would have loved to win that game so I could call them and say, ‘Ha, I beat you.’ They outplayed us but I was perfect that game and I was really happy about that.

E-mail Ron Cherubini

Ron Cherubini Archives

08/25/2011 03:14 AM


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