Part of Life

FSU coach Bobby Bowden believes kicker Xavier Beitia can overcome Saturday's misfortune im Miami. Bowden also said he occasionally talks with his former kickers who suffered a similar fate against the 'Canes. "That will haunt him all his life and haunt these guys all their life but they just have to learn. They just have to be bigger than that," Bowden said Wednesday. The veteran coach also talks about the success his two former assistants -- Mark Richt and Chuck Amato -- are enjoying.

Failed kicks greatly affected the three former Florida State kickers who suffered game-deciding misses against Miami. Gerry Thomas (1991) and Matt Munyon (2000) never kicked another field goal for the Seminoles. Dan Mowrey (1992) was never the same kicker.

Now it's Xavier Beitia's turn to deal with the disappointment of missing a game-winning field goal against the Hurricanes.

FSU coach Bobby Bowden reiterated Wednesday that Beitia, who had made 24 of 27 field-goal attempts in his career, including two 40-plus yarders earlier in the game against UM, can overcome Saturday's misfortune. Bowden said he occasionally talks with his former kickers who suffered a similar fate against the 'Canes.

"I hear from them every now and then and I might run into them once every one or two years," Bowden said during the ACC teleconference. "It's is tough on them. It is very tough on them but it comes with the territory. I talked to Beitia yesterday (Tuesday) - first time I have seen him since Saturday - with the whole team and, of course, he feels so bad.

"I am thinking how innocent he looks sitting there. I've been coaching 50 years and thinking of the one-point losses I've had and the times that I called the wrong play that cost a win. I am telling him, 'Hey look son. This is your first time. I've been through it for 50 years.' If you are going to stay in this game you have to live with it because it's not always going to be perfect. That will haunt him all his life and haunt these guys all their life but they just have to learn. They just have to be bigger than that."

Beitia, who has been battling a virus since returning from Miami, and the Seminoles will continue preparations this week for their home showdown against Notre Dame Oct. 26.

Across the country, two of Bowden's former assistants - Chuck Amato at North Carolina State and Mark Richt at Georgia - are currently undefeated.

In fact, North Carolina State hasn't been this good since Amato was a player. The Wolfpack (7-0, 2-0 ACC) are off to their best start since also winning their first seven games in 1967. Amato was a player on that squad.

Sitting atop the Southeastern Conference, No. 5 Georgia (6-0, 3-0 SEC) is off to its best start since 1982. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the cumulative computer rankings that have been done so far, which will comprise 25 percent of the score in the first Bowl Championship Series standings that come out next week. One Internet site projects Georgia as third in the BCS ratings behind Miami and Virginia Tech, which still must play each other.

Bowden tipped his cap to his former assistants, saying he couldn't predict their success but is not a surprise.

"Well, they both have done an excellent job, no doubt about it," Bowden said. "You can really see the results. They have just done a tremendous job. I am amazed how quickly they have accomplished what they have accomplished.

"You never know about an assistant coach until they get a head job because their are some who are simply not cut out to be head coaches. But these two are. Both showed a lot of leadership when they were here, I know that, and took on a lot of responsibility. What's happening, I couldn't predict it but I am not surprised."

The Seminoles, meanwhile, are scheduled to practice today and Thursday before breaking for the weekend.


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