It was arguably the biggest play of the 2008 football season.
In its game against Houston on Sept. 20, the Rams were clinging to a 28-25 lead in the fourth quarter and the Cougars were deep in Rams territory looking for the go-ahead score.
A dubious facemask penalty called on junior safety Klint Kubiak, giving Houston the ball inside the red zone in the waning minutes of the game.
Kubiak, however, redeemed his mistake by making a diving interception of Cougar quarterback Case Keenum’s pass in the end zone with only two seconds remaining on the clock to seal the Rams second consecutive victory.
The rest of the season was a bit of an adventure for Kubiak — battling ankle and knee injuries which kept him off the field for six games before returning in a reserve role against Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.
When healthy, Kubiak was a force in seven games last season. The safety recorded 28 tackles (21 solo), two forced fumbles, his interception against Houston and one other pass break-up. Defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said Kubiak plays with great energy, toughness and discipline and is considered one of the Rams’ best tacklers.
Now a senior entering his final year with the Rams, Kubiak is the unquestioned leader of the Rams’ defense, and if he can stay healthy this season, will consistently put up solid numbers in the secondary.
The potential for greatness, his leadership and humble nature earned Kubiak the Moby for Male Athlete of the Year.
The Collegian was unable to contact Kubiak for this story.
Football beat reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.