Cairo Santos could miss Tulane's game at Syracuse

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Tulane senior Cairo Santos, one of the nation's top kickers, could miss Saturday's game at Syracuse because of the death of his father, Green Wave coach Curtis Johnson said at his Tuesday news conference.

Cairo Santos Sr. died in their native Brazil. The elder Santos was a stunt pilot in Brazil and was killed Sunday while performing a stunt. The younger Santos is in Brazil for the funeral.

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Johnson said the team's thoughts and prayers were with Santos. "If he is at the game, he is at the game," he said. "If he isn't, he isn't."

Santos (5-feet-8, 160 pounds) is a small guy with a huge leg. He was magnificent last season, going 21-of-21 on field-goal attempts. He was 12-of-12 on attempts of at least 40 yards, including 2-of-2 from at least 50 (the first two 50-yarders of his career), and nailed a 57-yarder. In addition, 31 of his 55 kickoffs were touchbacks. He won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker.

He is 4-of-4 this season, including a 51-yarder, and has made 25 field-goal attempts in a row, the second-longest streak in Division I history. The record is 30, by Washington's Chuck Nelson (1981-82). Thirteen of Santos' 18 kickoffs this season have been touchbacks.

Sophomore walk-on Logan Hilton is listed second on the depth chart at kicker. He never has kicked in a college game.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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