N.C. State kicker Kyle Bambard hadn’t attempted a field goal since the end of regulation at Clemson on Oct. 15.
Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren wanted to give the sophomore another chance. After Bambard’s miss from 31 yards in the second quarter against Florida State on Saturday night, Doeren made a switch.
Connor Haskins, a graduate transfer from UNC Pembroke, made a pair of field goals in N.C. State’s 24-20 loss to No. 19 FSU. Haskins hadn’t attempted a kick since a 33-30 loss at East Carolina on Sept. 10.
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“I told (Bambard) I’d give him another shot at it, and I told Connor if he doesn’t (make it), that he’s in,” Doeren said. “That’s what happened.”
At 8:41 in the second quarter, with N.C. State leading 7-3, Bambard pulled his 31-yard attempt wide left.
On N.C. State’s next possession, the offense drove down to FSU’s 2-yard line. When Doeren decided to send the field-goal unit on the field, the home crowd booed.
Haskins came out instead of Bambard and made a 20-yard attempt. He also made a a 39-yarder before the end of the half.
Haskins, who is from Lumberton, didn’t play football last year at the Division II program but seemingly won the Wolfpack kicking job out of training camp.
Doeren never really made it clear who was his kicker before or after a 48-14 win over William & Mary in the season-opener on Sept. 1.
When N.C. State went for its first field goal of the season at ECU in the second week of the season, it was Haskins who went out for the attempt. He missed a 44-yarder in the first quarter and then a 42-yarder.
“I obviously didn’t have the best game at ECU, and I got benched,” Haskins said. “I stuck with it, believed in myself and believed in my technique.”
Haskins also kicked the PAT after N.C. State’s third-quarter touchdown. Doeren did use Bambard on kickoffs, replacing specialist Jackson Maples after his first-quarter kickoff went out of bounds.
Kicking has been an adventure the past two years for N.C. State. Bambard made 7 of his 14 attempts last year and none longer than 37 yards.
Bambard made his first three field-goal attempts this season: a 30-yarder at ECU and was 2-for-2 against Wake Forest on Oct. 1. He made a career-long 48-yarder vs. the Demon Deacons.
He made a 38-yarder in a hurricane against Notre Dame on Oct. 8 but also missed a 31-yarder.
At Clemson, Bambard missed a 43-yarder, made a 28-yarder and had a 37-yard attempt blocked. On the last play of regulation, he had a 33-yard attempt that would have won the game that he pushed wide right.
N.C. State didn’t attempt a field goal against either Louisville or Boston College. The job seems to be Haskins’ going forward.
“Connor did a great job taking advantage of an opportunity,” Doeren said.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio