Take a Knee: Matt Wogan on his first season with the Ducks and Alejandro Maldonado

Posted by Victor Flores on Tuesday, Sep. 17 at 2:30 pm.

Freshman kicker Matt Wogan has been primarily used on kickoffs this season, occasionally kicking extra points and field goals (he has attempted and made one field goal, a 38-yarder against Tennessee). Wogan talked with the Emerald after Tuesday’s practice, discussing his performance this year and Oregon’s main field goal kicker and punter, Alejandro Maldonado.

His performance this year

“There are a lot of places I need to improve in kickoffs and especially field goals. Some kickoffs are line drives, some go out the back [of the end zone], but it’s not about that. It’s about kicking a good ball. If I put one out there and the returner gets tackled inside the 10 [yard line], that’s better than kicking a touchback.”

How coaches reacted to his two out-of-bounds kicks against Nicholls State

“Like they should. ‘What the heck are you doing?’ they said, pretty much. ‘Kick the ball, focus.’ They weren’t necessarily dogging me and saying all this bad stuff, they were just telling me, ‘You’re better than that, do what you can do.’ They were pushing me but, at the same time, kind of encouraging me.”

His relationship with Alejandro Maldonado

“That kid, he’s an unbelievable help to me. He’s been through a lot with a bunch of different things and he’s just helped me out with the mental aspect. In the first game, if I had a bad kick, he’d come over to me and we had toilets in our hand — fake toilets, obviously — and we’d flush [the bad kick]. It’s done. Next kick. We both challenge each other. We both hold ourselves to a high standard. He’s gotten so much better and he’s gotten me so much better.”

On the criticism Maldonado has received

“That’s not really my place to say, but he’s come back every single year. He could’ve said, ‘I’m done with this, I’m done kicking,’ but he has a huge heart and a huge mind and he knows he can do it. I know he can do it. That’s why he’s still here and that’s why he’s still competing. He’s faced more adversity than probably anyone on this team has, and he’s continued to battle back and fight through it.”

  • Carl

    Just noticed that you’re writing for DE, Victor. Good for you, and best wishes!

  • Dianna Mai

    This is my take on the Kicking competition, Helfrich should make Wogan his Kicker and Maldonado the Punter, surprisingly He can Punt a lot better than he can Kick off or Kick field Goals. Actually he probably could be a All Pac 12 Punter if he keeps punting like he has been. Wogan has the Leg for Kick off’s and field Goals, Maldonado missed a 37 yarder and Wogan Hit his 38 harder. Competition over, I myself do not need to see anything more and neither should Coach Helfrich, after Maldonado missed shots that cost us the SC Game and the Stanford Game, Enough said, so when he missed the one against the Vol’s that was it.

    • DucksInOrder

      Really? What a ridiculous comment. Using your “logic”…When Wogan had a PAT blocked against Virginia that should have been it…Never again let him kick a PAT(Maldonado has been perfect this season on PAT’s)…When Wogan had those two kickoffs go out of bounds against Nicholls State then he should have never been allowed to kickoff again? That is YOUR standard. By the way, if you watched the USC and Stanford games…There were plenty of mistakes which “cost us the games”…But given your type of “logic” it is obvious you have ZERO clue as to what mistakes those were in the two games. GO DUCKS!