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Kickers still booting their chances away

Three combine to go 6-for-9 on PATs as FSU's kicking woes continue.

By ALEX ABRAMS

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden thought he had solved his kicking controversy last weekend when sophomore Chance Gwaltney made three extra points and one field goal.

Wrong.

The FSU kicking game showed its inconsistencies again as three placekickers were used during Saturday's 63-14 win over North Carolina. The kickers combined to make 6 of 9 extra-point attempts.

"(The kickers) give us about a game and a half, and then for some reason they can't get an extra point," Bowden said.

Sophomore Matt Munyon, who lost the starting job to Gwaltney two weeks ago, was FSU's only reliable kicker. Munyon made both extra-point attempts and knocked four of his 11 kickoffs for touchbacks.

"I guess (Munyon) will start off the next game as our kicker, and we'll rotate every third game," Bowden said.

"I just got all the jitter bugs out the first game," Munyon said. "I felt a lot more comfortable, and I'm on familiar ground out there."

Coaches called upon Munyon to kick extra points in the fourth quarter, only after Gwaltney and Brett Cimorelli missed half their attempts.

Gwaltney, a Cairo, Ga., native, started despite being held out of two days of practice this week with a sore groin muscle. The injury did not hamper the sophomore in the first quarter as he connected on two extra points and a 39-yard field goal.

In the second quarter, Gwaltney sailed two straight extra-point attempts wide left. That led to the substitution of freshman Cimorelli.

Gwaltney admitted he felt a slight pain in his leg after kicking the field goal, but he did not use the injury as an excuse.

"That's unacceptable," Gwaltney said. "I'm still in shock. I don't know how that happened."

Cimorelli, who was expected to be the team's starter entering fall practice, did not fare much better. He missed an extra-point attempt at the end of the third quarter to go 2-for-3 on the night. He was replaced after his failed attempt.

Cimorelli's extra point with 6:51 left in the second quarter marked the first time since 1991 that three FSU kickers have scored in one season.

Cimorelli said the groin injury that sidelined him for two weeks did not play any part in his shaky performance.

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