Brandon Hatfield, who hit a 34-yard field goal to give TCU the winning points with 1:51 left last week at Kansas, appears to be the Horned Frogs’ kicker going forward.
“It’s going to be hard for him to be beat out, to be honest with you,” coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday after practice.
Hatfield, a junior from Chino Hills, Calif., is 5-for-6 on field goals, with only a miss from 37 yards last week, and 9-for-9 on extra points.
Ryan Graf is also 5-for-6 on field goals, but his 28-yard attempt to win the Arkansas game was blocked. He has not kicked since the first half of the SMU game.
Jonathan Song has been out all season with a quadriceps injury.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Hatfield said Saturday after the game.
Hatfield was not on the Horned Frogs’ radar until fall camp. Last season, he did not play.
“When he came in, he broke his leg or something when he was a walk-on as a freshman, so I didn’t even know who he was,” Patterson said. “Really, he’s come on. He’s kicking with a lot of confidence.”
Hatfield said last week that the game-winner was the best he hit the ball that day, from warmups to the game, so he was confident going into the kick.
“A touchdown would have been nice, but if my number’s called, I’m ready, and I’m always prepared,” he said. “If the opportunity comes, I’m ready to take advantage of it.”