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    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    FSU Kicking Game Needs Kick Start (Third In A Series)

    For far too many years, FSU fans have heard "It's wide right" or "wide left" in too many close losses because of missed field goals. For the 2007 season, the key will be to never let a field goal kick be the deciding factor in the game. I know that is easier said than done but I have very little confidence in returning senior place kicker Gary Cismesia.

    For the 2006 regular season, Cismesia had a 64.7% field goal percentage and ranked seventh in the ACC.In comparison, Virginia Tech's Brandon Pace had a 94.4% percentage and Wake Forest's Sam Swank a 75% field goal percentage. If you count the Emerald Bowl, Cismesia had a slightly better percentage. Cismesia has always been able to talk a good game but hardly ever backs it up with his foot. It is difficult to understand why FSU has had such difficulty in recruiting a consistent field goal kicker. Outside of Sebastian Janikowski, FSU fans in recent times have had a lot of heartaches when it comes to watching field goals being kicked during critical times in a game.

    Most ACC teams have a coach that has special teams responsibility and Wake Forest even has a coach with specific responsibilities for kicker. FSU has neither. Perhaps there should be more emphasis on coaching the kicker at FSU. It is apparent that what FSU has been doing has not worked.

    Graham Gano, who will be a junior in 2007, was the kickoff specialist and punter for the Noles in 2006. He was a star field goal kicker in high school. Gano was a first team USA Today All-American, named a three-star player by and was the nation's No. 3 ranked kicker. In high school. Gano kicked a state record 65-yard field goal as a senior and during his senior season he kicked three field goals over 55 yards (57, 64, 65). Perhaps the Noles should throw open the field goal kicker position in the spring and let Gano compete with Cismesia.

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