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Cavaliers struggling to surpass 'drop-off point' for field goal unit

When Virginia junior place kicker Chris Hinkebein's 50-yard field goal attempt Saturday at Georgia Tech sailed wide right, it marked the fifth time this season that the Cavaliers had missed on a three-point try. Virginia ranks last in the ACC in field goal percentage (28.6 percent); only five division I-A teams in the nation have worse field goal percentages this season.

While Hinkebein has the leg strength to attempt longer field goals -- his kick Saturday had plenty of distance -- Virginia Coach Mike London would primarily like to use junior kicker Robert Randolph on field goal tries. But, London said Monday, the offense has drive further into opposing territory to reach Randolph's "drop-off point," or the point at which Randolph's range begins to fade.

According to London, Randolph needs to be able to kick the ball between the 30- and 37-yard line (which makes for field goal attempts of between 40 and 47 yards). Randolph -- whom London has said possesses a more accurate leg than Hinkebein -- has made 2 of 5 field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards.

"We've got to be able to move the ball to give Robert a chance to get to the yard line where he can have some success; that's the plan," London said. "You've got to get in the red zone and get yourself to score some points whether it's touchdowns or field goals."

By Steve Yanda  | October 12, 2010; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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