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No FSU kicking jinx, Gano says as Miami approaches

TOUGH DAY: Tim Tebow, reacting during a loss to Mississippi, says support from fans this week “means a lot.’’

Associated Press

TOUGH DAY: Tim Tebow, reacting during a loss to Mississippi, says support from fans this week “means a lot.’’

TALLAHASSEE — Graham Gano heard the taunts long before he donned a Florida State uniform.

After his senior season in high school, Gano was selected to play in the 2005 CaliFlorida All-Star Game in Miami. Once the spectators learned he had committed to FSU, they showered him with "wide right" or "wide left" every time he missed a field goal in practice.

"I think it's hilarious," said Gano, who kicked a 50-yarder in that game. "It gets in some people's heads. I love hearing that stuff."

Gano, 21, likely will hear plenty more Saturday when the Seminoles face Miami at Dolphin Stadium, but says it won't bother him. He doesn't believe in FSU jinxes, pointing to former Seminole Gary Cismesia's performances the past two years as proof.

In 2006, Cismesia had two field goals and an extra point in a 13-10 victory in the Orange Bowl. Last season, Cismesia had five field goals in a 37-29 loss.

"People say it's a curse and stuff. That's baloney," Gano said. "You've got to go out and kick it straight. If you kick it straight, it will go in."

Watson determined: Junior LB Dekoda Watson, who led FSU with 10 tackles against Colorado, is practicing with a bulky elbow brace but said he will play. He said the injury occurred in the first quarter.

UM: James practicing

CORAL GABLES — Miami RB Javarris James (high ankle sprain) returned to light practice this week and is being targeted to return Oct. 11 against UCF. With James out, Graig Cooper is aiming to be the first Hurricane with three straight 100-yard rushing games since Frank Gore in 2003.

RELAX, GUYS: Coach Randy Shannon said the secondary needs to relax against FSU and not worry about making a big play on every down. "They need to go out and play, have fun with the game," Shannon said. "We've got playmakers in the secondary. It's going to come. When it comes, it'll be fine." The Hurricanes rank 78th nationally in pass defense, allowing 218 yards a game, putting them one spot behind Florida International. Their defensive backs have no interceptions.

UF: Tebow support

GAINESVILLE — QB Tim Tebow made a heartfelt commitment to fans after Saturday's 31-30 loss to Mississippi, and he said Wednesday that he is receiving tons of support.

"Everybody has been very supportive, which is very nice," Tebow said in his first interview since Saturday. "Everyone in the communities and in classes has been extremely supportive. Just walking to class (I hear), 'We believe in you, we love you, we're praying for you.' That means a lot."

OVERCOMING TRAGEDY: Freshman CB Janoris Jenkins learned that his former teammate at Belle Glade Pahokee High, 18-year-old Norman Griffith, was shot to death early Saturday morning. "That is unfathomable," coach Urban Meyer said. "I talk to him every day about it and make sure he's okay, and he's staying focused, and he is."

INJURY UPDATE: Key starters were ruled out Saturday at Arkansas: OLs Jim Tartt (shoulder) and Marcus Gilbert (left ankle) and RB Emmanuel Moody (high ankle sprain). That means redshirt sophomore Carl Johnson will likely start at left guard.

UCF: Two starters out

ORLANDO — Starting WR Rocky Ross is out for the season because of a shattered collarbone Saturday at UTEP. The senior plans to apply for a medical redshirt. Starting LB Cory Hogue is expected to miss four weeks after surgery for a circulation problem in his leg. The Knights host SMU at 3:30 Saturday.

Times correspondent Phil Kegler contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires and the Orlando Sentinel.

>>up next

USF vs. Pittsburgh: 7:30 tonight, ESPN

Florida at Arkansas: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 38

Florida State at Miami: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 28

No FSU kicking jinx, Gano says as Miami approaches 10/01/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 3:51pm]
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