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  Valentino Ambrosio converted a 50-yard field goal with room to spare after a drive stalled during Wednesday morning's practice at Yulman Stadium. Making a kick with zero defenders on the field does not exactly prove he is the reliable kicker Tulane has been missing for several years, but his history offers powerful support. Ambrosio, a graduate transfer, hit 21 of 27 field goals in two years at Rutgers, including a 39-yard game-tying kick as the clock ticked down to zero against Maryland in 2020. It set up his 42-yard overtime winner. Both were right down the middle. "It's all about having laser focus," he said. "I've gotten a lot better at just being able to lock in and stay in the moment and do what I need to do for the team." After its struggles in game-deciding situations during coach Willie Fritz's six-year tenure, the Wave would settle for anything that nudged through the uprights.

Merek Glover, the primary kicker for the past five seasons, connected on some tying field goals in the fourth quarter but is mostly remembered for the 26-yarder he missed on the final play of regulation in an eventual overtime loss to Tulsa last year, and the 36-yarder he missed with 1:21 left in a 17-16 loss to Cincinnati in 2017. The last time Tulane hit a late game-winning kick was 2015 - the year before Fritz arrived - when Andrew DiRocco drilled a 35-yarder as time ran out to break a tie against Army. DiRocco is remembered mostly for the 21-yarder he duck hooked with 1:46 left in the Wave's 2014 American Athletic Conference debut against Tulsa, leading to a double-overtime defeat. Ambrosio, who has not won the job yet, appears to be Tulane's best hope to chart a new course. - New Orleans Times Picayune


rJr/2024 K Valentino AmbrosioTulane
News Source: New Orleans Times Picayune



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