- Associated Press - Saturday, January 7, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Cade Foster doesn’t sound like a guy discussing his own version of every kicker’s nightmare. Wide right (twice). Then short.

Then his team loses by, of course, a field goal. In overtime.

Foster’s three misses in second-ranked Alabama’s 9-6 loss to No. 1 LSU have become perhaps the most infamous kicks in a collection of botched boots in big games this season.

There was no escaping a rehash of Foster’s brutal November evening ahead of Monday night’s BCS title game, and the Crimson Tide’s kicker didn’t really try.


His affable, upbeat refrain to a steady succession of questions on the topic: He’s moved on. That’s old news. Just excited to be here.

“I think the world breaks everyone at some point,” said Foster, a sophomore who was made available to the media for the first time this season at BCS media day. “Some are strong at those points and others are weak. If you’re strong, you’re going to persevere through it. It definitely helped me grow and get mentally stronger.

“Until someone invents a time machine,” he adds, “I’m not going to worry about it because I can’t do anything about it.”

There was plenty of blame to sprinkle around from that first game.

A quick refresher: Foster missed from 44 and 50 yards to cap Alabama’s first two drives. He was short on a 52-yarder on the opening possession of overtime, though he did make a season-long 46-yarder. Foster declined to run through what happened on the kicks.

Brought on in relief, Jeremy Shelley, who normally handles shorter attempts, had a 49-yard line drive blocked by Bennie Logan in the second quarter.

On those four drives, Alabama’s offense had two penalties, two sacks and three negative rushing plays after penetrating LSU’s 30.

So, was it the kickers’ fault? Not entirely. Foster, who said the feedback from fans was largely positive, still had to temporarily shut down his Facebook page. He said he flipped off the TV after the LSU game but didn’t hide in his room or skip class.

Teammates have stuck up for Foster.

“I think the fans are entitled to their opinion and they can be critical of whatever they want to be critical (of),” Tide center William Vlachos said. “They certainly have been critical of me at times in my career. The way we look at it is, we’re responsible for giving them those 50-something yard kicks. That’s anything but their fault. We’ve got to move the ball when we get close to the 30-yard line.

“We’ve got to put them in better situations.”

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