Jeff Budzien glad Mark Dantonio chose to “ice” him

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Mark Dantonio may receive a letter from with Jeff Budzien’s return address on it.The Michigan coach called a timeout just before the Northwestern kicker booted a 43-yard field goal with 41 seconds left before halftime in the Wildcats 23-20 win at Michigan State on Saturday. Budzien missed that kick, which didn’t count, but nailed the next one to give his team a 6-5 lead at the break.“Not too many coaches who called timeout have ever kicked a field goal,” Budzien said. “They don’t udnerstand that actually it’s a help.”Budzien made three more field goals in the game has made 15 of 16 field goals this season after making 6 of 10 last season. His only miss this season was a a 53-yard potential game-winner against Nebraska. Budzien has accounted for the winning points for Northwestern on three occassions and is a semifinalist for for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation’s top kicker.Budzien said he prefers being “iced” because it allows him to get a practice kick in while also getting a feel for the weather conditions. He said a golfer would have a similar advantage if he got to practice a putt before attempting it.“I got to get a swing on it and get a feel for the wind,” he said. “I should write him a thank you card for that.”

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