MORGANTOWN — Paul Woodside, West Virginia University’s All-America placekicker in the early 1980s, isn’t surprised that Josh Lambert has tied his record of longest field goal at 55 yards.
“Well, guess what, I imagine and hope that he breaks the record real soon,” Woodside declared. “The guy has a very strong leg, and pressure does not bother him.”
He has not met Lambert one-on-one officially. But Woodside watched the Texas native closely working out with teammates during visits to Morgantown this summer.
“I could see how impressive he could be,” he continued. “Absolutely.”
Lambert’s 55-yarder gave WVU a 37-34 victory over Texas Tech at Lubbock, Texas, last Saturday. Earlier this season he duplicated that feat with a 47-yarder against regional rival Maryland for a 40-37 win.
Woodside, who’s now 51 years old, set the all-time school record with his 55-yard field goal against Louisville in September of 1984.
He is very high on Lambert’s capabilities.
“You can see that there are really, really big things he claims within himself. And in order to play within yourself, you have to be mentally tough,” he continued.
“You have to have great awareness, and you just have to be yourself.”
Woodside, who lettered from 1981-84 under head coach Don Nehlen, remembers his collegiate career as most enjoyable. So do numerous others.
All of the school records he set still stand upon revisiting the placekicking records in the WVU record book:
• Career PAT percentage: 98.1 (1st)
• Career kicking points: 323 (1st)
• Career field goals: 72 (1st)
• Season field goals: 28 (1st) in 1982
• Consecutive field goals: 15 (1st) from 1981 to 1982
• Career attempted field goals: 93 (1st)
• Season attempted field goals: 31 (1st)
• Longest field goal: 55 yards vs. Louisville, 1984 (1st)
• Game kick scoring: 14 (4th) vs. Rutgers, 1982 and vs. Syracuse, 1982
Paul and his wife, Annie Teresa, still reside in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. He continues teaching young kickers tricks of the trade.
While Josh Lambert never was among his pupils, Woodside heard of the youngster when he was competing in high school.
Woodside admittedly had “ice water in his veins,” and he likes to believe Lambert does, too.
“I always looked at pressure as an opportunity to make yourself better,” he said.
“Lambert obviously is very good at what he does for West Virginia. As for pressure, it only bothers a person if he lets it.”
Lambert has said he doesn’t even think about whenever he’s called to kick a field goal or extra point.
For WVU’s first six games, he has made 19 field goals and 12-of-12 extra points. For his career, he’s made 31-of-40 field goals and 57-of-58 extra points.
Here’s what Coach Nehlen said of Woodside when questioned Thursday:
“He was such a great team member. All of the other players absolutely loved Paul Woodside. Every team has a somewhat goofy guy, and he was better at that, too.
“He has a way with people. He really excelled at what he loved to do as a placekicker. He was a big-league player.
“I’m not surprised that all of those records that Paul set still stand.”