History comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s a transcendent career. Or it may be an amazing season. But on rare occasions, a single game can rewrite the history books, and that’s exactly what happened during Florida State’s game vs. Ole Miss in 2016.
In that season opener, held in Orlando, Seminole kicker Ricky Aguayo quickly followed up his older brother’s legacy by making FSU lore of his own. He made program history by going 6-6 on field goals in Florida State’s season-opening win against the Rebels. I wasn’t immune to the hype, having written an article about it, like pretty much everyone else.
And why wouldn’t we?
It was the school’s biggest comeback win, and it came against an SEC opponent, in primetime, to open the season. And Aguayo’s six made-FGs still stand as a school record. The comeback simply wouldn’t have happened without him.
But did I adorn Aguayo as a savior mere moments after his impressive accomplishment? No, because the sample size was far too small. And that’s the same reason I didn’t castigate him for going 0-3 against Louisville in Saturday’s game against the Cardinals.
Even though his misses could have very well cost FSU the game, that would be irresponsible, as it was just one game. And besides, there’s a much larger sample size from which to draw. So I merely drafted the better part of this article, and then waited to see how he responded against NC State.
So let’s give Aguayo his fair shake, from the beginning of his Florida State career, including that historic performance against Ole Miss. Including his 6-6 start, because it’s never fair when people try to evaluate a player except this game or that play or whatever, he finished 2016 19-26, which was 73.1% and 63rd in the FBS among 100 kickers with enough attempts to qualify.
So despite his record-setting effort, he finished in the nation’s lower half.
But to his credit, Aguayo rebounded in his sophomore season. In fact, he was excellent, making 18-21, an 85.7% success rate, which tied him for 10th in the FBS. No complaints there. Well done.
Aguayo’s junior season, and the way he’s begun his senior campaign, are the real concern.
In 2018, Aguayo went 11-17 on FGs (64.7%). That was 92nd of 100 among qualified FBS kickers. And through five games in 2019, he’s 4-8 (50%), after going 1-2 against the Wolfpack on Saturday. That’s tied for 93rd in a field of 98 qualified FBS kickers.
And that means that across the last two seasons, Aguayo is 15-25: 60%. And that sample size, along with making just one of his last five FG tries, is both ample and more than enough to prompt his benching against NCSU following yet another miss.
Willie Taggart addressed the issue after the win over NCSU, stating that competition would continue for the place-kicking duties at FSU. Walk-on sophomore Parker Grothaus took over for Aguayo after the latter’s miss vs. the ’Pack, and while Grothaus didn’t get a chance at a field goal, he made both of the extra points he attempted.