Purdue does not have a ton of favorable walk-off kicks in its history, but the final last play we saw in a game from the Boilers was today’s player walking off a huge bowl win.
Mitchell Fineran - Gr.
Fort Valley, GA (Samford University)
5’11”, 185 pounds
2022 Projection: Starter
I can only think of a handful of instances where a Purdue kicker has won the game on the final play. Chris Summers did it in the Motor City Bowl in 2007. Paul Griggs did it at Iowa in 2012. J.D. Dellinger did it twice in his career: at Illinois in 2016 and at Northwestern in 2019. Mitchell joined Summers in doing it in a bowl game, however.
When Dellinger declined to take his free COVID year last season Purdue needed a kicker. Enter Fineran, who had a solid three year career at FCS Samford. He connected on 43 of 56 field goals for the Bulldogs before heading to West Lafayette as a graduate transfer last season.
And what a season it was. Fineran went 24 of 29 on the year. His 24 made field goals in second in a single season in Purdue history behind only Ben Jones, who had 25 in 2003. He might have even tied the record if not for a fake field goal run against Oregon State in the opener.
Fineran was everything Purdue needed last year. He was reliable and accurate. Against Michigan State, Northwestern, and Tennessee he connected on four field goals each. That tied him with Summers for the most career games with four or more made field goals. He was also 3 for 3 in the opener against Oregon State. His roughest game was at Nebraska, where he missed twice, but inside 30 yards he was a perfect 11 for 11 on the year.
Normally he would have been a one year transfer, but the COVID rules meant he could come back one more time in 2022. That’s an incredibly valuable asset, as he led the conference in made field goals last season.