Nearly four years to the day after kicking a game-winning field goal that sent the New York Giants to Super Bowl XLII, former Troy Trojan Lawrence Tynes relived history on Sunday as he booted a 31-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Giants past the San Francisco 49ers and back to the Super Bowl.
"It's my second NFC championship game, my second game-winner," Tynes told reporters after the game. "It's amazing. I had dreams about this last night. It was from 42, not 31, but I was so nervous today before the game just anticipating this kind of game. I'm usually pretty cool, but there was something about tonight where I knew I was going to have to make a kick. Hats off to Eli, offense, defense. Great win."
San Francisco's Candlestick Park is not the ideal work environment for NFL kickers. In the history of the stadium, only one field goal of over 48 yards has been made in the playoffs and Sunday's weather conditions were deplorable. "The weather was terrible, the balls were wet, the balls were full of grass," Tynes said in the locker room following the victory. "It was tough sledding out there. The moisture, the footing was tough, the balls were really slick."
Tynes' kick sets up a rematch of Super Bowl XLII with the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. He won't be the only Trojan on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf that night, as Troy will also be represented by wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan and defensive end Osi Umenyiora in the game.
Troy's three former players in the Super Bowl are the fifth most of any school in the country. Only Boston College (5), Florida (4), Michigan (4) and Fresno State (4) will have more alumni in the Super Bowl. Umenyiora, who forced a key fumble in New York's victory over Green Bay in the Divisional Round, had four tackles and a half sack against the 49ers on Sunday. Jernigan returned one kick for 17 yards and also saw action at receiver.