We continue our series highlighting our wonderful photographer Heather Weikel’s favorite images from the 2019 football season. Give Heather a follow at @hweikelphoto on Twitter to see more of her work.
Let’s set the scene for a moment: Penn State was trailing Pitt 10-7 with a little over two minutes left in the first half and starting with the ball at their own 15 yard line following a go-ahead touchdown by Pitt. A 40-yard screen pass to Ricky Slade on third down kept the drive alive and got PSU just across midfield to the Pitt 45.
From there, PSU would get all the way down to Pitt’s 31 before Sean Clifford was sacked for a hefty loss to make it fourth down, forcing PSU to burn their final timeout and attempt a 57-yard field goal with seven seconds left. On came Jordan Stout, the Virginia Tech transfer and kickoff specialist who was PSU’s secret weapon on field goals over 50 yards, having already nailed a 53-yarder in the season opener against Idaho.
With a good snap and hold plus deep focus, Stout booted the ball straight down the middle, and if the picture in the header tells you anything, willed it just over the crossbar to set a new school record for longest field goal.
Just like that, PSU was the team heading to the locker room with the momentum having unexpectedly tied the game instead of Pitt riding high off grabbing the lead just minutes before halftime. PSU would of course, go on to win that game in a 17-10 thriller that came down to the final snap.
It’s no secret Jordan was arguably the biggest pickup for the program via the transfer portal, as he put 66 of his 83 kickoffs (nearly 80 percent) into the end zone for touchbacks, rarely ever giving opposing kick returners an opportunity to make some magic happen. He is also vying for the starting punter role with Blake Gillikin having graduated.
So, what say you, Dear Reader: What are your expectations for Jordan Stout this season? Do you see him adding punter duties along with kickoffs and 50-plus yard field goals? If he is the punter, do you see him filling the void Blake left behind?