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FSU kicker working hard to live up to legacy

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  • FSU kicker working hard to live up to legacy

    'Noles in need of a standout kicker

    By Jack Corcoran


    Sophomore Gary Cismesia was Bobby Bowden's first and only option on field goals Wednesday.

    But Cismesia struggled in Florida State's first kicking scrimmage of the preseason, adding to the uncertainty at the position that has long tormented the Seminoles in their rivalry with Miami. FSU opens the season against the Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium on Sept.5.

    Cismesia went 5 for 9 on field goals in the scrimmage. He missed two of his three attempts from beyond 40 yards. And all the while, former USA Today first team All-American Graham Gano watched.

    "It's my job to make them," Cismesia said. "That's what I work on all day. And I come out here and do as bad as I did, it's depressing. I kind of had the job sealed up, I thought. Now it's probably open again.

    "We'll see how it goes. Obviously I'm mad at just making an ass out of myself in front of the whole team."

    The evening scrimmage brought more of the same as Cismesia missed two 37-yarders.

    Cismesia took over the kicking job late last season, making his first seven field goals. But he missed twice in the regular-season finale against Florida before being replaced by Xavier Beitia, who made the final four kicks of his career, including three in the Gator Bowl against West Virginia.

    Cismesia came into the preseason atop the depth chart but was unable to cement his position in the scrimmage.

    "That won't do it," Bowden said. "Got to get better than that."

    Gano and sophomore Chase Goggans didn't attempt any field goals in the morning scrimmage, but Gano missed a 38-yarder in the evening. Gano starred at Tate High School in Cantonment, where he made three kicks over 55 yards last season. His 65-yarder against Fort Walton Beach set a state record.

    "Being a freshman, I kind of expected not to get many opportunities," Gano said. "But a lot of the older guys said it will come in time."

    Bowden said Gano will eventually get his chance.

    "We were just trying to give Cismesia all the work he can to get him ready for that first ballgame," Bowden said. "We'll gradually try to work Gano in and see if he does better."

    After a low snap from Myles Hodish, Cismesia missed his first attempt of the scrimmage, pushing a 32-yarder wide to the right. He also missed from 37 yards and twice from 42 yards. His long last season was 44 yards.

    FSU's kicking woes against Miami are legendary. Beitia continued the legacy with three memorable misses.

    Beitia came up empty from 43 yards as time expired in 2002 as the Hurricanes escaped with an incredible 28-27 victory. A 39-yard miss with less than six minutes remaining contributed to FSU's 16-14 loss in the Orange Bowl on Jan.4, 2004.

    Beitia was unable to put away Miami last season. His 34-yard attempt was blocked with less than four minutes remaining. The Hurricanes wound up forcing overtime on Sinorice Moss' 30-yard touchdown catch in the final minute and won 16-10 on Frank Gore's 18-yard run.

    "It's still three weeks away," Cismesia said of FSU's showdown with Miami. "It's not here yet. It's still kicking out here with no one here. When it comes time, then it will be time."
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.