Catman tweaks kicking technique, confident for FSU

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON - Redshirt freshman placekicker Chandler Catanzaro said on Monday that even after he missed two field goals at Boston College, his confidence never wavered.

Catanzaro was replaced at kicker by senior Richard Jackson for last week’s game against N.C. State, and he said that even though he could have hung his head, he just kept on persevering, and now he hopes that attitude will earn him another chance this week.

Catanzaro met with the media in the West End Zone on Monday, and he said practice this week will be business as usual, even if he is fighting for a starting job.

“I’ll just go out there today and throughout this week and do what I've been doing,” he said. “I kicked really well in practice last week. I tweaked a few minute things. Mainly, I've gone too fast in the field goals that I've missed. I have to focus more on staying smooth. I did that last week in practice and kicked awesome. I'm confident about what I'm doing. My job is to put it through the uprights, but I haven't done that as well as I can. The team deserves better.”

Catanzaro said that former UNC kicker Kenny Miller is a friend of his father, and Miller noticed that the Christ Church product was getting into his kick too fast.

"I've been rushing my mechanics a tad,” he said. “That's the main cause for my misses. I've got to stay smooth throughout my steps. My dad was great friends with Kenny Miller growing up, and he’s a great role model for me.

“He was watching my tape and told me that was the main problem. I have to go slower throughout the kick. I was too far from the ball at one point with my steps. For some reason, I was taking bigger steps than I had taken in camp. I went back to what I was doing in camp. I have to keep a slower rhythm now."

When he learned last Monday that Jackson was going to take over the duties against the Wolfpack, he looked at it as an opportunity and not a demotion.

"Coach [Andre] Powell told me last Monday that this is how it was, that Richard was kicking in the N.C. State game,” he said. “Regardless of the circumstances, my job is to put it through the uprights. I haven't done it as well as I needed to. I know I'm better than I've shown. My parents have always told me that when one door closes, God opens another door. I'm confident that when another opportunity comes up, I'll take advantage of it."

Jackson missed two field goals against the Wolfpack, and when the Tigers scored their second touchdown of the game with just over six minutes remaining – tying the game at 13 – Catanzaro was called on to kick the extra point.

He said that when Swinney pointed at him to hit the field, he knew then that the coaches had confidence in him to kick the go-ahead point.

“I just focused on staying loose the whole game,” he said. “The coaches had told me to be ready just in case. I was confident going into the extra point. I just did what I always do."

As a result of the tweaking, he made every kick in practice last week, and doesn’t expect any less this week.

He was asked how confident he would be if he had to make a game-winning kick at Florida St. this weekend, with 80,000 hostile fans screaming at him, and he said he has the confidence he can make any kick.

"My attitude right now is that I'm going to make it,” he said. “Every kick is a big kick to me. The team has done awesome this year but I've come up short on several kicks. I'm confident in what I'm doing. I'll focus on each individual kick. I'll just do what I've always done. I'm confident in my technique."

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