Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hearing victory

by Barca Blog - While Bryant Hahnfeldt’s game-winning field goal in the Music City Bowl will go down as one of the biggest sports moments in Vanderbilt history, one thing often gets overlooked: two walk-ons, snapper David Giller and holder Thomas Carroll, played a significant role in that moment.

Sure, most Commodore fans may be unfamiliar with these two guys, but maybe that's not such a bad thing considering players at these positions usually only get attention when something goes wrong. So, I thought it would be cool to speak with Giller about what it meant to be involved in that special moment. Here’s a short Q&A:

Down by one with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, what was going through your head as you took the field for the game-winning field goal?

“Everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s a big situation,’ but with how repetitive special teams is, you can only go about it like it’s any other deal. I knew Thomas (Carroll) was going to get the ball, I knew he was going to get a good hold, and I knew Bryant (Hahnfeldt) was going to kick it right down the middle. I just knew it would be automatic every single time, and that’s what it should be. We just went out there and executed everything we needed to do and got it done.”

As a walk-on, talk about having the chance to effect Vanderbilt history on that play.

“A lot of those feelings of accomplishment, not only for me but for the program, came after we had won the game because if we hadn’t, no one would have talked about it.

“We all had faith in each other. Even though Thomas and I were walk-ons, we knew that we were going to get it done. We just knew it. It was just like any other field goal at any particular point in any game. It just happened to mean a whole lot more after the fact.”

After you snapped the ball, did you get a chance to see it go through the goal posts?

“I knew it was going to be dead-center just because usually I can tell that when Bryant hits it good, it just sounds pretty. Then, I could see from my upside-down vantage point that the snap and hold were good, and then it came down to Hahnfeldt to knock it through. I heard it, it sounded great, and I looked up, and sure enough, it was right down the pipe.”

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