Colorado's first conference win of the season over Arizona State came down to a 43-yard field-goal from sophomore kicker Alejandro Mata. After Mata nailed the kick, giving Colorado a 27-24 lead, a herd of players surrounded Mata before coach Deion Sanders passionately told him to dance. Mata did not disappoint with his response.
Deion telling his kicker to dance after hitting the game-winning field goal ??pic.twitter.com/GWEl4RsYeD
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) October 8, 2023
What may initially seem like an awkward attempt at a dance move, Mata's arm circle move has been well-rehearsed. After the game, Mata said that he's been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use this celebration.
"I'm always doing it in the shower every night so I'm like bro, I gotta do this after a field goal," Mata told Pac12 Network.
Coach Sanders has obviously become a fan of Mata's interesting move as well. According to Mata, Sanders saw him do the dance after his 42-yard kick on the previous drive that gave Colorado a 24-17 lead with 1:54 remaining.
After going down by a touchdown, the Arizona State offense responded with a quick touchdown drive to tie the game with 50 seconds left, which was too much time for Shedeur Sanders and the rest of the Buffaloes offense. A 43-yard pass from Sanders to wide-receiver Javon Antonio set Mata up for the game-winning 43-yarder.
Mata was one of the nine transfers from Jackson State that followed coach Sanders to Colorado. The former three-star-recruit was nearly perfect in his freshman year for JSU, going 43 for 44 on extra-point attempts and 11 for 12 on field-goals. Colorado stared out the season with Jayce Feely as their starting kicker, but after he missed a 39-yard field-goal in the team's thrilling overtime victory over Colorado State, Feely was replaced by Mata.
Since replacing Feely, Mata has been eight for nine on extra points, and his only two field goals thus far were his two big makes this weekend against Arizona State. With his strong start to the season, there's plenty of reason to believe there will be many dancing moments to come for Mata.
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