OXFORD, Miss. — Arkansas trailed by two with 7 seconds remaining Saturday, and the game rested squarely on the shoulders of Hogs kicker Connor Limpert.
So as Limpert took the field for the biggest kick of his life, he made sure to point to the sky. The gesture was a nod to his late father, Scott, who died in 2015.
Limpert confidently stepped up and made his first attempt. But there was no celebrating yet. Ole Miss had called a timeout before the snap. The Rebels did the same twice more as Limpert lined up for the kick. Each time he continued with the attempt and split the uprights.
The left-footed sophomore remained true on his fourth attempt. There were no timeouts to save Ole Miss this time, as Limpert capped a stunning comeback to give Arkansas a 38-37 victory. He knew in that moment he’d made his dad proud.
“I just went out there to try to kick it like every other kick at practice and try to do it for my dad,” Limpert said. “I think he’s very proud of me and he’s so happy for me.”
Carrying on the memory of his father means everything to Limpert. He wears No. 19 in his honor, the same number Scott wore when he suffered a fatal heart attack playing soccer at age 53.
“Me and my sister and my dad all wore No. 19,” Limpert said. “So it’s meant a lot to me.”
Limpert was a month from beginning his senior year at Allen (Texas) High School when his father died. The loss was, and continues to be, difficult for him and his family.
But it helped him develop a high level of mental toughness. Limpert knows if he can make it through that, he can handle anything. A game-winning field goal attempt on the road against an SEC West rival? That’s easy compared to what Limpert has been through.
“I’m not really a nervous guy, so that helps me out a lot,” Limpert said. “I’ve been through a lot. So, in my mind, I wanted to hit it just like I do every kick and do it for my family.”
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) October 28, 2017