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Mowrey's kicks draw crowd's ire

Published Oct. 12, 2005

One of these days, Dan Mowrey will kick the ball right. Not wide right, just down-the-middle, split-the-uprights right. One of these days.

"Can we make this the last time talking about misses? I don't know what I did wrong today," Mowrey said after missing two extra points against North Carolina on Saturday. "My technique is all right. I was actually shocked because the ball felt so good on my foot."

But while the kicks may have "felt" good, the Doak Campbell Stadium crowd of 60,553 knew they weren't and booed the sophomore kicker after his second miss just before halftime.

But Mowrey just shoos the boo-birds away from his psyche.

"They were booing? Who cares what they think?" Mowrey said of the crowd after the game. "I had a good second half and if I'm happy with that, I'll be okay. I never pay attention to stuff like that."

Mowrey is more likely to listen to teammates like fullback William Floyd and holder Dan Kanell. Both try to offer encouragement after every kick, make or miss.

Floyd said he understands the "unfair" pressure put on kickers and just tries to help Mowrey along.

"The fans need to stick with Dan and the rest of us through the good and the bad," said Floyd. "They shouldn't put that type of pressure on the guy."

Kanell tries to use humor to calm Mowrey after a miss.

"I try to tell a joke or point him to a funny-looking lady in the crowd," Kanell said. "Anything to keep him up. But he does a pretty good job of that himself even when the crowd acts like that."

But it wasn't just the crowd that was upset with Mowrey's misses. After the second miss, kicking coach Billy Sexton told Mowrey he was not going to kick in the second half.

"We ended up changing our minds about that, but we just wanted to wake him up," Sexton said. "We've just got to have more consistency. It didn't hurt us today but you never know when it's going to."

Mowrey was visibly upset on the sidelines after speaking with Sexton, but later admitted it might have been a logical decision.

"Hey, maybe I would've done the same thing," he said. "But I got a chance to come back and do things right in the second half, so who cares what they were booing about. I got my second chance and did okay."

Mowrey made both extra-point attempts in the second half.

Now, Mowrey said, he must correct the problems.

"My techniques are fine," Mowrey said. "I think to change your style is the kiss of death for a kicker. I'm not too worried about it, because I manage to keep coming back to get the next one."