Sturgis impresses in Dolphins' win


Published: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 12:04 a.m.

JACKSONVILLE — Former Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis celebrated his 24th birthday Friday night in memorable fashion.

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Miami's Caleb Sturgis (9) watches his kick sail through the uprights for a 58-yard field goal during the second half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday in Jacksonville. (The Associated Press)

He nailed a 58-yard field goal, added a 36-yarder and was 3-for-3 on extra-point kicks as Miami defeated Jacksonville 27-3 at EverBank Field. Miami improved to 1-1 in the preseason, while Jacksonville dropped to 0-1 in its opener.

“I thought he kicked well,” Miami coach Joe Philbin said of Sturgis. “The kickoffs had good hang time and distance. He was efficient. He is off to a good start.”

Sturgis, Miami's fifth-round draft pick in April, is in a training camp battle with veteran Dan Carpenter, who kicked in last week's Hall of Fame game loss to Dallas. A strained groin has slowed Sturgis' progress, but it didn't show on the longest kick of his career in his NFL debut, albeit a preseason game.

“We did it during OTAs (organized team activity), it didn't surprise me,” Sturgis said. “Before the game we said the 40-yard line was the cut-off point. It was on the 40-yard line and I didn't think twice.

“Any time the field goal team gets put on the field is to go out there and get three points. We did that twice tonight. As a group we did a good job.”

Sturgis, from nearby St. Augustine, was 3-for-3 on kicks 50 yards or longer for the Gators last season, when he set the UF single-season record with 24 field goals. His previous long was a 56-yarder against Georgia, also at EverBank Field.

After the game Sturgis planned to meet with family and friends before the Dolphins return to South Florida.

“A good amount of family is here, going to see them right now,” he said.

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