8 The Duly Tar Heel Thursday, September 29. 1977
Rouse important cog
in kicking 'machine'
By LEE PACE
Assistant Sports Editor
If Jim Rouse weren't fortunate enough to share the split end duties for Carolina's football
team with Walker Lee. he probably wouldn't get to play a whole lot for the Tar Heels.
A second and three-tenths here, a second and three-tenths there. That doesn't add up to
And even during those short spurts, most people wouldn't even notice he's around
unless he made a mistake. A miscue would warrant the ire of his teammates and the plaudits
of his opponents. If he did his job right, the credit or fault would lie with someone else.
And in case anyone thinks that plucking a speeding football from the air. plating it nose
down on a small tee and getting his hands and fingers out of the way of a powerful leg is an
easy task to perform in 1.3 seconds, try it sometime.
"My job's important." said Rouse, who spots the football for l orn Biddle's place kicks.
"But it's no more important than the snap or the kick. If the snap's bad. it messes me and I om
up. If 1 mess up. then Tom can't do his job. Holding is just a part of the whole thing. It's just as
important, but no more important than the rest."
The entire kicking process from the snap by Jim Andrews to the hold by Rouse and the
kick by Biddle mustn't take more than 1.3 seconds. "Or else it'll be blocked." said kicking
coach Sandy Kinney. So the three specialists spend hours and hours during the season
perfecting a precisioned play that's much harder than it looks.
"It's pretty much routine now." Rouse said. "Jim calls us the 'machine.' We practice every
day. Jim does a heckuva job getting it to me, and you know how accurate Biddle is. I've got
the easy job all I do is set it up."
Rouse places the tee a small rubber platform that elevates the ball an inch off the turf
six and two-thirds yards behind the line of scrimmage. He kneels on his left knee, about six
inches from the tee, and stretches his right leg toward the line of scrimmage. The instant
Andrews begins the snap, Biddle moves forward.
When Rouse catches the center snap he places the index finger of his right hand on one tip
of the ball and his left hand behind the ball. He places the ball on the tee. slanting it backward
several degrees, and as he pulls his left hand away, he spins the ball so that the laces are away
from Biddle. Usually Rouse doesn't even have to spin the ball, since Andrews' snaps are
supposed to arrive so that the ball can be placed directly on the tee without worrying about
"The strings have to point to the goal post." Rouse said. "If they don't. Tom can't get any
Biddle's failure on a 41-yard attempt against Richmond wasn't all the kicker's fault." That
was my fault," Rouse said. "When I put it down I couldn't get the strings away from him. II it
had been a 30-yarder he would've made it. But when it's a long one. everything has to be
Rouse began holding in high school and continued the job on the UNC freshman team two
years ago. Last year, as a sophomore, he moved into the varsity holding position, and his first
play was a memorable one.
"The first time I ever held on the varsity was in the Miami of Ohio game last year." Rouse
remembered. "The snap hit the ground. I started to put it on the tee. but ended up hav ing to
run it. That was the first and only time something like that has happened to me. I've been
Should he get any bad snaps this year or drop any good ones, making it impossible to get
the ball on the tee. Rouse immediately yells "Fire" when he realizes he's in trouble.
"That way everybody knows I've missed it. The guys can try and get a block and the
linemen will know not to go downfield since it might be a pass."
But Rouse isn't likely to miss any. As a receiver, he's got the hands he needs to handle most
"I guess that's why it's easy for me," he said. "The more you catch the ball the better you are
at it. Being a receiver helps. You have to look a pass into your hands and tuck it in. It's the
same principle for holding you watch the ball and look it into your hands."
Rouse feels that the combined efforts of everyone on the place kicking team comprise an
important part of the Tar Heel game.
"We've really got a good kicking game," he said, "and that's important. Last year we beat
East Carolina with field goals, and when you've got a big game coming up like Texas Tech. a
field goal can make the difference."
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It takes a lot of concentration
and coordination for Jim
Rouse to set the football up for
Tom Biddle's place kicks. At
top left, Rouse gives center Jim
Andrews a target while he
barks signals. After catching
the snap (top center), he spots
it on the tee, seeing that the
laces are away from the kicker
and that the ball is slanting
slightly backward (top right). If
all goes well, the result is a
point after touchdown or a
three-point field goal. Staff
photos by Mike Sneed.
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Conference, according to statistics released
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Carolina defense ranks first in ACC
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There's More at Your
this week by the league office.
The Tar Heels lead in total, rushing and
scoring defense and have allowed only 17
points in three games. UNC has allowed an
average of 2 1 4 yards per game, an average of
127.3 yards rushing and an average of 5.7
points. The Tar Heels rank fourth in the
conference in pass defense with an 87-yard
State, which has raced to three straight
impressive wins since an opening-game loss,
leads the league in total offense, rushing
offense and scoring.
The Wolfpack. which has the ACC's total
offense individual leader in quarterback
Johnny Evans as well as three of the first 10
rushing leaders, is averaging 466.5 yards per
contest, which ranks eighth best in the
The Pack has amassed more than 400
yards in each game with 528 against
Syracuse two weeks ago being its best game.
Should State continue its present pace it
would erase the conference record of 439.4
yards per game set by the 1 968 V irginia team
in 10 games.
State has averaged 303.7 yards rushing,
seventh best in the country. Maryland leads
the conference in passing with State second.
Duke quarterback Mike Dunn trails
Evans as the individual leader, followed by
Larry Dick of Maryland and Steve Fuller of
Carolina's Matt Kupec ranks seventh in
total offense with a 1 18.3 average and it tied
for fourth in passing with Mike McGlamry
of Wake Forest. Kupec has connected on 25
of 40 attempts with three intereceptions for
an average of 8.3 completions per game.
Tar Heel tailback Phil Farris is fifth in the
ACC in rushing with a 58.7 yard average per
game. Tight end Brooks Williams and split
end Walker Lee rank sixth and seventh,
respectively, in receiving.
Kentucky Frisd Ckickca
Chapol Hill: 319 t ,)st M.i.n St' . I in Club,,,
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