SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah kicker Matt Gay showed plenty of distance in his first field goal attempt in a live NFL setting.
Gay, a fifth-round selection by Tampa Bay in April’s draft, split the uprights — with some distance to spare — on a 55-yard field goal at the end of the first half of the Buccaneers’ 30-28 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday.
It was the onetime Utah Valley soccer player’s first action in an NFL game. His 55-yard field goal is the longest in Heinz Field history.
“Really? Wow. That's awesome," Gay told Buccaneers.com, flashing a wide grin while laughing, when asked about the accomplishment. "That's cool to know. I don't know if that will count since it's preseason, but that's cool to know. That's awesome.”
The Orem native, who’s in a position battle with Cairo Santos for the starting kicker spot, also had two kickoffs in the second half.
Also on Friday, former BYU standout Taysom Hill played quarterback for New Orleans in the second half of the Saints’ 34-25 loss to Minnesota.
The dual-threat quarterback completed 8 of 14 passes for 80 yards, one touchdown and an interception while leading New Orleans with 45 rushing yards on six carries.
Hill’s first series ended in a pick six when tight end Dan Arnold couldn’t handle a pass and the Vikings’ Nate Meadors intercepted it off the tip, taking it 30 yards for a score.Comment on this story
After that, though, Hill led the Saints on three scoring drives. After two field goal drives, Hill finally got New Orleans in the end zone halfway through the fourth quarter.
He capped a five-play, 83-yard drive with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey, hitting the wide receiver in stride near the Minnesota 20 and letting Humphrey do the rest.
“Overall, I thought it was good," Hill told the Saints' website of his performance. "I think just like any game or just like any practice, there are plays you'd like to have back. But I think preseason (game) number one, I think overall it was good."