Go Tech Go, Part 24: Kinzer’s Kick Sends Dooley Out in Style

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Eddie Hunter, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
Eddie Hunter, photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics

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The Gum Sucked – But the Game Was Great

With four seconds left — ironically, Chris Kinzer wore No. 4 — Virginia Tech coach Bill Dooley sent out his kicker. When North Carolina State coach Dick Sheridan called timeout to let Kinzer think about the 40-yard attempt from the right hash-mark, he kneeled on the clumpy grass of Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium, chewing gum, a white towel by his knee, his left hand under his chin, the picture of calm, the outcome of the 1986 New Peach Bowl dependent on his right foot.

“I might have looked calm, but my insides were a mess,” Kinzer said. “I grew up in Dublin, Va., rooting for the Hokies when they were still known as the Fighting Gobblers, so I understood the situation. Tech had never won a bowl game before. On top of that, I really wanted to send Coach Dooley out a winner. So I just tried to block everything out.”

Kinzer had been chewing the same stick of Doublemint gum for seven hours. Usually Dr. Richard Bullock would give him some pieces of hard candy to suck on during the game, but he accidentally left