Kesich Named Big Ten Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year

Kesich Named Big Ten Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year
Kesich Dragan/Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics

University of Minnesota kicker Dragan Kesich was named the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year today by the Big Ten Conference.Kesich is the first Gopher to be named the conference kicker of the year since Emmit Carpenter in 2016. He is also the first Gopher to earn an individual award from the Big Ten since 2020 when Mohamed Ibrahim was the conference running back of the year.

Kesich led Minnesota in scoring with 90 points during the 2023 season. He made 22 field goals and was a perfect 24-of-24 on point-after attempts. He ranked eighth in the nation in field goals made (22), sixth in field goals attempted (26) and tied for 24th in field goal percentage (84.6%).

His 22 makes this year are tied for the second most in program history, just three back of Dan Nystrom’s record of 25 set in 2000. Kesich’s field goal percentage is third best by a Gopher kicker since 1977 (min. 10 attempts).

The two-time Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week has eight games this year with multiple made field goals, including three with at least three made and a career-high four at Iowa on Oct. 21. In his career, Kesich is 22-of-27 for an 81.5 success rate that is first in program history (min. 25 attempts).

He is already tied for 13th in program history with his 22 made field goals.  Kesich had a streak of 10 straight made field goals at one point this season that tied for the fifth longest in program history.

He converted the first two field goals of his career against Nebraska, including a game-winning 47-yarder as time expired. It was the first walk-off field goal in regulation for the Gophers since 2003 when Rhys Llyod made a 35-yarder as time expired to defeat Wisconsin.

Against Michigan, Kesich connected on a career-long 54-yard field goal, which tied for the fifth-longest in program history and is a Huntington Bank Stadium record. It was Minnesota’s longest field goal since Joel Monroe made a 54-yarder at Iowa on Nov. 10, 2007.

At Ohio State, Kesich tied his career-long by making a 54-yard field goal. Including a 50-yard make at Northwestern, he is now the fifth kicker in program history with three or more field goals of 50+ yards in a career, and he joins Adam Bailey in 1997 as the only Gopher kickers with three field goals of 50+ yards in one season.

Kesich established career highs by making four field goals and scoring 12 points at Iowa. His four field goals were the most in a game for Minnesota since Carpenter connected on four field goals at Penn State in 2016. The four field goals made ties for third-most in a single game at Minnesota. Kesich is the 10th Gopher kicker to accomplish the feat, and it’s the 14th time it’s happened.

Kesich also kicks off and is one of the best in the nation. He is 47-of-56 on touchbacks this year for 83.9%.

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