Seth Small's game-winning kick to beat No. 1 Alabama was the biggest moment of the college football season so far, yet the veteran Texas A&M player said after the game it ranked several notches down his list of life's biggest moments.
Small, whose 28-yard field goal beat the Crimson Tide 41-38 as time expired in front of a national CBS television audience and 106,815 fans at Kyle Field, told media members after the game Saturday that the kick ranks behind his faith and his family.
"It was probably the third best moment of my life. Right after I accepted Jesus into my heart as my true Lord and Savior, and then after getting married to my wife this summer, I'd rank this three," Small told media during a post-game interview.
A video of his wife and his family watching the game-winning kick went viral on social media. His wife, Rachel, cheers him on in the video before rushing the field alongside other students after the kick clears the uprights.
The upset victory improved the Aggies to 4-2 and propelled them to No. 21 in the AP poll. More significantly for Texas A&M fans, it snapped an eight-game losing streak to rival Alabama. The Aggies last beat Alabama in 2012, when Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was the quarterback.
Texas A&M entered the game as the heavy underdog and was given little chance to beat the Tide, which thumped the Aggies 52-24 last year on its way to the national title.
With the game tied at 38-38 on Saturday, Texas A&M's offense got the ball with just over two minutes left and methodically marched down the field.
All eyes were on Small, who also beat Florida last year on a game-winning field goal.
The senior placekicker said he quoted Scripture throughout the game against Alabama to remain calm. He said he prefers to be by himself – instead of talking to teammates – while awaiting big kicks.
"I was just repeating Psalm 23:1 to myself all night, which is, 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.' And that kind of comforted me. That's a moment I live for, and I just kind of want to focus on that and then celebrate with [teammates] afterward – just so I can deliver on my part, [because] they've been delivering on their part all night long."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Carmen Mandato/Staff
Video courtesy: ©Texas A&M Athletics
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.