Former Tiger Kickers Shine in 52nd Super Bowl
February 5, 2018 - Jake Elliott once mused during an on-campus interview while in full uniform, "this will probably be the only time on campus anyone knows that I am a football player," while self-noting his small statue more befitting a kicker than, say, a lineman.
But no more—Elliott's three field goals, including a 46-yarder with 1:05 left in regulation to give Philadelphia a 41-33 lead over heavily favored New England, helped the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory Sunday night.
"If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up...#WORLDCHAMPS" Elliott tweeted shortly after the game.
Elliott's 46-yarder broke the record for longest field goal by a rookie in a Super Bowl, a mark he set earlier in the fourth quarter with a 42-yarder.
Elliott's counterpart, former Tiger kicker Stephen Gostkowski—the Patriots all-time points leader—didn't have too shabby of a game himself, giving New England its only lead of the game on an extra point after a Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski 4-yard TD pass with 9:22 remaining in the game. Gostkowski, already with two Super Bowl rings, also had a 45-yarder in the second quarter as well as a 26-yard field goal in the opening stanza to tie the game at 3-3. Elliott had put the Eagles up 3-0 with a 25-yarder midway through the opening quarter.
Gostkowski set every kicking record at Memphis during his 2002-2005 Tiger career, originally coming to the University on a baseball scholarship. He's been to four Pro Bowls and has established himself as one of the all-time great kickers in NFL history. Elliott, who kicked at Memphis from 2013-2016, broke most of Gostkowski's records at Memphis and set a Philadelphia record for longest field goal ever with a 61-yarder on the final play of the game in an Eagles' win over the New York Giants early in the NFL season. Gostkowski later in the season kicked a 62-yarder—the sixth longest in NFL history—in a game against Oakland.