“It’s got the leg...59-yard field goal!”
These words echoed over the ESPN airwaves as Arizona State place kicker Zane Gonzalez booted his career-long field goal in the thin, mountain air of Boulder Colorado.
Imagine the situation. It’s the fourth quarter and the Sun Devils are getting smoked by the Buffaloes by a score of 33-13. After a disappointing drive, ASU is left with a 4th and 19 at the Colorado 49-yard line. What’s there to lose at this point?
Gonzalez had already made two previous field goals in the game, both from 50+ yards out. Not only was this his longest career field goal, but it also put him above Dustin Hopkins for the all-time points record in college football history.
In total, Arizona State collected 199 total yards offensively while Gonzalez came close to that number with the 160 yards his kicks traveled.
Colorado has been a state where many long field goals have gone through the uprights. Denver Broncos’ kicker Jason Elam kicked a 63-yard field goal at Denver’s then Mile High Stadium to match the record originally set by New Orlean’s Tom Dempsey in 1970. That record was matched by Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski in 2011 then shattered by Denver’s Matt Prater two years later as he launched a 64-yarder in Denver.
The altitude had some affect for Gonzalez’s kick but analysts even said the kick could have gone longer than 59 yards.
The former Sun Devil was picked up by the Cleveland Browns in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft.