Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sooners find their kicker
By ESPN.com staff
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said last week that placekicking was his No. 1 concern entering the season. Stoops was expected to announce his decision on Wednesday, but did so on his radio show Tuesday night, selecting former walk-on Patrick O'Hara as his starter.
“It’s (based) over the past couple of weeks,” Stoops said. “(O’Hara), in my eyes, overall has been more consistent. He needs to be given an opportunity to keep it and improve with it as opposed to some knee-jerk reaction and change it every kick.”
O'Hara, a sophomore, made 6 of 9 kicks last season and all 15 PATs. Stoops says he won't have a quick trigger, but last year's starter, Jimmy Stevens, who made the Lou Groza Award watch list this preseason, will be relegated to the bench. Stevens lost the job midseason last year to O'Hara.
Stevens hit 11 of 13 kicks last season and 27 of 29 PATs.
Oklahoma's kickers struggled from beyond 40 yards last season, making just 1 of 8 attempts. O'Hara was 1-of-2 with a long of 47 yards against Texas Tech. Punter Tress Way, who will focus on only punting this year, was forced into placekicking duty last year but made just 1-of-6, with his only make coming from 28 yards out against Nebraska.