Senior Recap: Kirk Yliniemi

Little did Beaver fans know that a student who started his career down south at the "other" city would walk onto the football team at Oregon State and boot his way to the majority of OSU's kicking records.

Kirk Yliniemi earned first team all-state and all-league honors while playing for Bill Coutts at Central High School in Monmouth, OR. During his senior season he helped his team to a 12-1 record while going a perfect 9 of 9 on kicks in the 3A state playoffs. In addition to his perfect string, he set an Oregon high school state playoff record by booting a 52-yard field goal against Hidden Valley in ’99.

Following his high school career, he enrolled at the University of Oregon in the fall of 1999 but did not participate in sports. Two terms later, he traveled north to Corvallis.

Yliniemi walked on to the Oregon State squad in 2000 and was listed No. 4 on the depth chart behind the four returning kickers. The Oregonian redshirted in 2000 before moving up to the No. 2 position behind Ryan Cesca for the opening of the 2001 campaign.
Yliniemi owns almost every OSU kicking record.

Cesca ran into consistency problems late in the season opening the door for Yliniemi to get into the last two games against Northern Arizona and Oregon. He responded by hitting 3 of 4 field goals, including two against Oregon, and 5 of 5 PATs.

Despite starting at the end of the season, Yliniemi opened fall camp of 2002 at No. 3 on the chart behind Cesca and Mike White. Yliniemi and Cesca battled for the entire month of August for the starting job before Yliniemi grabbed the starting role.

He missed his first field goal attempt of the season, a 32-yard kick against Temple, but followed the miss by making fifteen straight, tying the career and season record held by former OSU kicker Jim Nielsen. He also made 45 of 46 PAT attempts. At the conclusion of his first season as a starter he had scored 90 points, good for seventh on OSU’s single season scoring list. Yliniemi was a paragon of consistency ending the season with just two missed kicks.

His performance earned him honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in addition to being named the Pac-10’s Special Teams Player of the Week after hitting all three field goals and PAT kicks against Stanford in November.

Preseason honors greeted Yliniemi at the start of 2003. Phil Steel listed him as the sixth best place-kicker in the nation while the Lou Groza committee nominated him as an award candidate.

The consistency did not drop off as he broke almost every Oregon State kicking record despite having to overcome appendectomy surgery in the middle of the year. He extended his consecutive field goals made streak to 20 before missing a 43-yard attempt against Boise State.

In addition to extending his streak, he hit a career long 54-yard boot, the fourth longest in school history, against Arizona and tied a school record by hitting four of four field goals against Washington State.

Getty Images
Yliniemi made 94% of his kicks at Oregon State.

He finished 2003 hitting 82% (19 of 23) of his field goals; two were blocked at USC, and 46 of 47 PAT attempts. Yliniemi was named to the Pac-10’s second team and was also named a Lou Groaz semifinalist, but did not make the final cut.

In just two full seasons as a starter, Yliniemi hit 86% (37 of 43) of his field goals and 98% (96 of 98) of his extra points giving him a 94% (133 of 141) success rate on all kicks while playing for the men in black. He finished his career at OSU as the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer.

At the conclusion of his collegiate career, he is the most accurate and consistent kicker in school history and was almost automatic from 40-yards in. He also possessed the strength to kick 60-yarders. Numerous times during spring and fall practice Yliniemi attempted and made 60-yard kicks. Before the start of the second half at the Las Vegas Bowl he attempted 60-yard boots to the delight of Beaver fans chanting his name.

Recently he was invited to the February NFL Combine in Indianapolis where he will display his skills for NFL coaches and scouts.


Senior recaps:  James Newson | Offensive Line | Tim Euhus


#46 Kirk Yliniemi
   Career Statistics
Year    FGM-FGA  .PCT   Long   PAT-PAT    .PCT
----    -------  ----   ----   -------    ----
2003     19-23   .826    54      46-47    .978

2002     15-16   .938    50      45-46    .978
2001      3-4    .750    43       5-5    1.000
2000                    DNP                   

         -----   ----    --      -----   -----
Total    37-43   .860    54    133-141    .985

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