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Kicker won't think about history with 'wide right'

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Before this year's season opener, redshirt freshman Matt Munyon didn't know much about the history of Florida State placekickers against Miami.

But once he won the placekicking job -- and struggled with his accuracy -- you can rest assured he heard all about Wide Right I and II, last-second field-goal attempts the Seminoles missed in excruciatingly close fashion against Miami in 1991 and 1992, costing them shots at the national title.

Oh, boy, has he heard.

"They've been mentioning that all year," he said. "I don't really think about it. There's not much more you can do except kick like you know how."

Although he missed an extra point and had one blocked against Maryland, he did hit a careerlong 44-yard field goal that has boosted his confidence.

"It made me feel a lot better and it made the players and coaches feel a lot better," he said. "They're starting to trust me a little bit, so that gives me more confidence. ... And just having more games under my belt (helps). I don't think the Miami crowd's really going to affect me."

Nor history.

"I have to play my own game; I can't worry about that," he said. "Plus, if I miss, I usually miss left anyway."

FAMILIAR FACE: Senior defensive end Roland Seymour expects to play for the first time Saturday against Miami since injuring his left knee in the Sugar Bowl. Not that Seymour is enamored of the timing.

"I wanted to come back before this game because I didn't want to go into my first game against a team like Miami where you have to be at full speed and at your best," he said. "I've been playing football since I was 6 years old. I know how to play football. I know what to do once I'm out there. The first couple of plays I'll probably be nervous, but once I get the first licks in, I'll be fine."

Senior David Warren figures to start for the second straight week at left end opposite Jamal Reynolds, but Seymour likely will see time on both sides. Alonzo Jackson has been playing well at right end, too, which gives FSU a stellar four-man rotation that could be key as it tries to pressure Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey.

And Seymour could be something of an X-factor.

"I'm kind of glad the bull's-eye's not on me and maybe I can sneak up on them and they're not expecting me," he said. "They really don't know what I can do. They've seen me in the past and I've had good games against them before (two sacks and a forced fumble for a safety in the 1998 win at the Orange Bowl), but coming off a knee injury, they don't know how I'll respond. If I do respond well, that's a plus for us."

SITTING OUT?: It's a safe bet that FSU will seek a medical redshirt for highly touted freshman defensive tackle Travis Johnson. He has been sidelined by a neck injury, a pain that shoots down his left side and something he said he feels "every morning."

"I don't want to waste a year," he said, "but if that's what I have to do to be healthy, I will."

CONFIDENCE BUILDER: The women's soccer team, ranked No. 12 in the latest Soccer America poll, matched last season's win total (nine) with two wins last weekend at Oregon State and Oregon.

"We got two close results, which will be very important for us because every game throughout will be close," coach Patrick Baker said.

Just as important, the young FSU team showed it could win on the road. It entered those games 1-3 away from home. It still has three regular-season road games, North Carolina State, Maryland and Miami.

"For our team, it was just a matter of playing well outside the confines of our complex," Baker said. "It's great to finally turn the corner there and be successful."

Next up is carrying that into the Atlantic Coast Conference, beginning Saturday against visiting Wake Forest. FSU (9-4, 0-2) still has a chance to finish above .500 in the league, a mark that coupled with non-conference wins against Florida and Texas A&M likely would mean an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

- Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics. He can be reached at (813) 226-3347 or by e-mail at landman@sptimes.com

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