EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michael Geiger will hear his Michigan State teammates try to harass him during practice as he’s going through his field goal drills. He’s perfectly fine with it.
“It will be silent and they’ll be saying, ‘Hey, windmill guy, wide right,’ ” Geiger said. “They’re just trying to throw me off, but I think everybody was just as happy as I was and would have probably celebrated the same way.”
No one celebrated Michigan State’s 17-14 win at Ohio State quite like Geiger did. The Toledo native made a 41-yard field goal on the final play of the game, then ran back down the middle of the field to the opposite end zone, his left arm extended and his right arm in a perpetual windmill motion while his teammates chased him down.
Michigan State (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten) hosts No. 2 Ohio State (9-1, 6-1) Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
Geiger had missed a 43-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter last year that would have given the Spartans a 10-7 lead. He didn’t miss when he got a chance to redeem himself.
Or, as he blurted out on a postgame radio interview with Spartan Sports Network’s Keith Nichol: “I (expletive) drilled it.”
Even venerable play-by-play man George Blaha couldn’t disagree.
“He did drill it,” said Blaha, after Nichol apologized for the on-air curse and sent things back to press box booth.
Geiger says he doesn’t know where the celebration windmill came from.
“It was pure emotion, just happiness,” Geiger said. “It wasn’t premeditated. Sometimes you have in the back of your head, ‘maybe if I hit a game-winner I’ll have a celebration,’ but that was just all instincts.”
Geiger is 10-of-14 on field goals this season, including making a career-long 52-yard attempt against Michigan on Oct. 29. He equaled a career-high by making all four of his field goal attempts at Illinois on Nov. 5 but he’s always going to be remembered for last Nov. 21 in Columbus.
“It’s made me, I would say, B-list. I’m not famous-famous, but it’s kicker famous,” Geiger said. “I’ll have people who will try to Facebook-friend me and send me there kid in pee-wee football who wind-milled after an extra point or something. It’s been really fun for me having people reach out to me, or just say they watched the kick.”
Kevin Goheen covers Michigan State for Landof10.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CincyGoGo