FSU/Duke Game Notebook

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State kicker Gary Cismesia was called upon early and often in his first game action. Thanks to his efforts, the Seminoles were able to carry a slim lead into halftime.


Cismesia connected on a trio of short field goals – from 23, 29, and 27 yards out – to give FSU something to show for drives that stalled on the Duke 1, 6 and 3, respectively. The three first-quarter field goals were more than FSU had made in any entire game previously this season.

"Boy if I would have known he would do that good, I would have put him in before today," FSU coach Bobby Bowden said. "Having not kicked for us yet, you never know how he'll do so that was darn nice, especially considering the games we've lost."

Cismesia connected from 40 and 43 yards out after halftime. His five field goals tied a single-game record also held by Sebastian Janikowski.

"I was a little nervous because we needed the points in the first half," Cismesia said. "Plus I had never kicked in front of that many people. I'm grateful for the opportunity."

Cismesia was notified of the record by former FSU kicker Bill Capece, who now lives in Tallahassee and helps coach the kickers. Capece was patrolling the sidelines near where the kickers warm up.

The freshman even took over on kickoffs in the fourth quarter, a task that former starter Xavier Beitia handled for most of the game.

"Xavier came over and said, ‘nice kick' after each of them," Cismesia said. "He has been real supportive."
HERE AND THERE: The sea of garnet in Doak Campbell Stadium has been a sight for sore eyes this season. Coming into Saturday, the Seminoles had led 203 out of 240 possible minutes in home games. They led the entire 60 minutes against Duke. On the road, Florida State has been behind for 120 minutes while leading for just 72. FSU has trailed at the half three of four games away from home. AFTERTHOUGHTS ON RIX: With a 4-yard completion to De'Cody Fagg in the first, Rix became just the second Seminole and eighth ACC quarterback to eclipse the 8,000-yard passing plateau. His nine completions gave him 550 for his career, good for second in school history to Chris Wienke's 650. Rix's 50-yard pass to Chris Davis is the longest gain for the FSU passing game this season. He celebrated from the bench. Bowden benched the senior after his second-quarter interception led to Duke's only points. CAREER DAYS: Linebacker A.J. Nicholson set a career-high with 14 tackles against the Blue Devils. Ernie Sims tied his career mark of ten, set earlier in the season against Virginia. On the offensive side of the ball, Chauncey Stovall's 138 receiving yards and Lorenzo Booker's 130 yards rushing were both personal bests. CHANGING ARMS: For the second straight week, Bowden changed quarterbacks at the half. "This is a bigger deal to you guys," he said. "I look at as nothing more than [FSU baseball coach] Mike Martin going to the bullpen in the eighth inning to get a fresh guy in there…I would say Wyatt did a great job in relief and will probably get the start next week. ETC: Even though the game was available only on pay-per-view, the Goodyear blimp hovered overhead to give aerial shots for the Jumbo Tron in the west end zone….The small Duke pep band broke that made the trip into several renditions of "Rocky Top". Meanwhile, Tennessee hosted Notre Dame over 700 miles away in Knoxville.

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