Wide right. Wide right II. Wide left. Sound familiar? All of those and more are several kicking problems Florida State has had in the past that cost the Seminoles wins against the Hurricanes. Some have even joked that all Florida State kickers are cursed when it comes to kicking field goals against Miami and if a game is settled by less than three points, the 'Noles would lose.
Well this past Saturday, the Seminoles barley squeaked by the 'Canes and a large part of that was the six points Graham Gano added on during the course of the game.
This first and probably most impressive of Gano's two field goals came with 1:03 left in the first half. Florida State faced a long fourth down situation and had to decide to punt or attempt a field goal from 53 yards out. With a kicker who is still not 100% healthy, Coach Bowden still had faith that Gano could kick it through; and he did.
In pre-game warm-ups, Gano had to listen to the Miami fans constantly chant ‘wide left' and ‘wide right'. Gano then decided to taunt the crowd a little and by waiting for them to get loud before practicing his kicks, and then enjoyed the silence after he knocked them through. His 53 yard three pointer had the same results.
"It felt pretty good," Gano said. "I shut them up a little bit."
Gano then went on to nail a 35 yard attempt in the third quarter before Florida State went on to win by a final score of 41-39. If Gano had missed one of those, there is a good chance FSU is now sitting at 0-2 in the ACC, but it seems Florida State's kicking woes are over against Miami for now.
"I don't think we've missed one in the past two years so people can shut up that," the kicker said. "There's no curse or anything. Hopefully Dustin (Hopkins) when he comes here next year does well too."
In addition to hitting two key field goals, Gano was also called on to kick the ball off for the first time this season. After a few miscues with the kickoff team, Gano went on to handle the duties.
"That was the first time I've kicked off since my surgery. It was a pretty big adrenaline rush standing there, seeing the whole stadium kicking off."
Gano says he expects to continue to handle kickoff duties as long as his knee feels healthy. According to his doctor, he should expect to feel a little pain when kicking, but there is no real danger of another tear; good news for 'Nole fans everywhere. Look for Gano to finish his senior year successfully and give Florida State a reliable kicker in tight situations.