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SPOTLIGHT WEEK 7

These Guys Are Kicking Themselves

October 13, 2002|Mike Bresnahan

Hard to believe, but the season keeps getting worse for college kickers.

UCLA's Chris Griffith had an extra-point attempt blocked in the third quarter and was wide left on a 46-yard field-goal attempt with 1:54 left in the Bruins' 31-30 loss Saturday against Oregon.

Syracuse Coach Paul Pasqualoni's job security took another hit when Collin Barber's extra-point attempt bounced off the left upright with 30 seconds left, giving Temple a 17-16 victory.

Kansas State easily defeated Oklahoma State, 44-9, but had three point-after attempts blocked.

Michigan kickers Philip Brabbs and Troy Nienberg have made four of 12 field goals this season.

Last Saturday, USC's Ryan Killeen missed a conversion attempt with 4:10 left that could have put the Trojans up by four at Washington State. Instead, the Cougars tied the game with a field goal and won in overtime.

The worst case of kick-itis, however, took place Saturday in Miami, where Xavier Beitia's shank to the left made him the fourth Florida State kicker since 1991 to miss a last-second field-goal try against the Hurricanes that could have tied or won the game.

"I haven't seen a player take anything worse than him," said team chaplain Clint Purvis, who whisked the sobbing sophomore into the trainer's room as reporters entered the Seminole locker room.

Beitia was still bawling when his mother, father and several police officers escorted him to the team bus.

Hey, it could have been worse. The other three Seminole kickers who blew it against Miami were wide right.

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