ORLANDO -– It is something that you don't typically see in a bowl game -- a special teams player being named the Most Valuable Player. Then again, Florida State senior Graham Gano is not any average special teams player.
|Four punts landing inside the 20-yard line helps Graham Gano take home MVP honors. (AP)|
"I can't remember having a punting performance like today," Gano said.
But he was quick to give credit to his teammates on the punt team.
"It really has a lot to do with the other guys," Gano said. "Zach (Aronson) snapped the ball well and I didn't have any pressure so the guys blocked really well."
Coming into Saturday's game, Gano had only punted 17 times in 10 games and just four of them went inside the 20-yard line.
Against Wisconsin, four of his five punts landed inside of the 20, and his first three punts in the first quarter landed at the three, the one and the one-yard line, respectively.
"This guy right here held us in the first half," said Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden with Gano next to him in the post-game press conference. "They would still drive 80 yards but it was too far to score."
Wisconsin could only manage a field goal on the five drives that began following a Gano punt.
"I don't know what I would have done tonight if he hadn't pinned them back," Bowden said.
For the game, Gano averaged 48.2 yards per punt, seven yards more than his season average. Along with the honor of being the game's MVP, Gano was given the honor to take a piece of the sod from the field to bury in the Seminoles' "Sod Cemetery."
"That was pretty neat," Gano said of being the one to cut out the sod from the Citrus Bowl turf.
One of Gano's teammates told him to go and get the sod from a place that was getting a lot of recognition early on in the game -- the one-yard line.
"Somebody told me to go to there to cut it out, because that one-yard line attracted the most attention," Gano said.