Achilles heel becomes hero

Alabama place kicker Jeremy Shelley (Jan. 9, 2012, WBRC photo)
Alabama place kicker Jeremy Shelley (Jan. 9, 2012, WBRC photo)

NEW ORLEANS (WBRC) - Call it confidence, redemption, or luck... but Jeremy Shelley proved himself Monday night.

The junior place kicker, who spent part of the season getting trashed by fans for missing key field goals during the first matchup against LSU, scored 15 of the Crimson Tide's 21 points in the team's national championship victory over the Tigers.

"Jeremy did a great job in the game," head coach Nick Saban said after the game. "We have a lot of confidence in Jeremy.  He doesn't have great range, but when we get it down there by the 25-yard line he does a pretty good job for the most part.  We got one blocked and he pushed one to the right a little bit, but we're just going to keep on keeping on and keep giving him opportunities, and I think he did a fantastic job."

Shelley attempted seven field goals Monday night, making five of them.  He also missed the point-after attempt.  After the game, though, he said he never gave up.

"You just have to stick with it," Shelley said. "That second one went right with the criticism, you just got to come back and keep hitting them."

For the season, Shelley made 21 of 27 field goal attempts and 52 of 54 extra point attempts. Shelley said he felt like tonight could be a night to earn some redemption.

"We've been planning for this since we got our bid. It's just a great feeling to finally put it through."

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