You probably observed that West Virginia specialist Josh Lambert wasn’t just your average college football kicker during the 2014-15 season when he nailed a 47-yard game winning field goal as the clock expired to beat the Maryland Terrapins.
Or, it might have been when he snagged the NCAA record for the most field goals made of 40-yards or more in a season with 16. Or, was it when you found out he’s become one of the nations best kickers while living with Type I diabetes? You decide.
This pre-season, Lambert was added to the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, an award given to the nation’s best place kicker in college football, for the second season in a row. He was a finalist for the honor last season after making 45/45 extra point kicks and nailing 30/39 field goals for 135 total points.
“I’d almost rather not be on the list. You don’t wanna concentrate on things like that, you know?” Lambert said following the Mountaineers 44-0 victory over Georgia Southern. The redshirt junior hit 3/3 field goal attempts in the blowout win, including one from 26-yards, one from 32-yards, and one from 22-yards.
In his post-game press conference, head coach Dana Holgorsen revealed that Lambert had suffered a pre-season injury at the beginning of fall camp. This was the first time the media was made aware of the injury.
“He fought a small injury at the beginning of camp and was slow getting started,” said Holgorsen. “We were worried at one point, so for him to go three-for-three and knock it through there was the ‘Josh’ that I know.”
According to Lambert, he’s healthy and ready to play.
“It wasn’t something big,” he said. “I hurt it during agility drills and it’s not a problem…when the game starts, no matter what happened leading up to that, I’m ready to go.”
This coming Saturday when the Liberty Flames visit Morgantown, they bring another one of college football’s best kickers with them in John Lunsford. Lunsford has already been deemed to have NFL potential, as he easily hit from 60-yards out previously.
“It’s good to see other kickers have success, but what he does and what I do have no connection. It’s not me vs. him (Lunsford). What I do doesn’t affect him and what he does doesn’t affect me,” said Lambert, acknowledging that he never scouts the opposing teams kicker prior to a game.
The (1-0) West Virginia Mountaineers will host the (1-0) Liberty Flames this Saturday, September 12 with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.