Doeren Confident In Sade

After a breakout junior year, Niklas Sade hasn't had a great start to the season, but NC State head coach Dave Doeren remains confident in his senior kicker.

Often times a kicker's success can hinge, to a degree, on the lack of success of the team's offense. NC State struggled scoring touchdowns in 2013, and because of that kicker Niklas Sade had a breakout junior campaign.

A Lou Groza Award semifinalist, Sade hit 19-of-23 field goals, and he was tied for 11th in the FBS in field goals per game (1.9) as he finished the season ranked seventh in the ACC in scoring. He actually won the team's Governor's Award, given annually to the MVP of the Wolfpack.

Going into 2014, Sade was considered one of the top two returning kickers in the league, along with Florida State's Roberto Aguayo. However, things started shaky for Sade and have continued.

He hit just 1-of-3 attempts in the season opener against Georgia Southern, but both misses were from 50+ yards. Then in the next outing versus Old Dominion, Sade missed a 34-yarder.

Through seven games, he's 4-of-8 on his attempts... Sade has already missed as many kicks this season (4) as he did all of 2013.

"He hasn't had as many opportunities, which I think is a good thing," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "It means our offense is scoring more touchdowns. But he missed two 50-yarders early in the season, and he's missed two shorter ones... and Nik is a great kicker."

According to Doeren, Sade's practice habits have remained consistent with when he's in a groove.

"We work with him every day," said Doeren. "That does not change. We video everything he does and he watches it and critiques himself. He knows his own swing. That's the thing, kickers are a lot like golfers.

"They know what they've got to do to collect it. Last thing you want to do is criticize a guy like that that's so particular of himself. Just support him and give him the things he needs to get back on track."

And that is what Doeren is doing... he's supporting Sade and remains confident that he can do the job.

"We have total confidence in him," he stated. "He'll get back where he needs to be."

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