Bedlam football: Who has the kicking game advantage?
Three years ago, OU won Bedlam 27-0, and the most productive offensive player was OU punter Tress Way. Way had six punts, for a 58.8-yard average, with two downed inside the 20-yard line. Quinn Sharp wasn’t bad himself, averaging 46.9 yards on his 14 punts — that’s right, 14 punts, in a game played after World War II. Ryan Broyles had eight punt returns for 204 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown return.
Now the 2012 Bedlam game arrives, and some of the same kicking-game combatants are still around from that 2009 game. So who has the edge?
* Punting: Sharp and Way remain premier punters. Sharp averages 45.1 yards, on 32 punts. He has only two touchbacks, with 13 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Way has punted 39 times for a 42.4 yard average, with six touchbacks and 17 downed inside the 20. Slight edge to Sharp.
* Punt coverage: OU opponents have returned only seven punts, but they’ve averaged 10.6 yards and returned one for a touchdown. OSU opponents have returned only 11 punts, for an average of 7.8 yards and no touchdowns. Edge: Cowboys.
* Kickoffs: OU’s Patrick O’Hara, who kicked two short field goals in that 2009 game, has kicked off 43 times, with an average length of 62.8 yards and 19 touchbacks. Michael Hunnicut has kicked off 28 times, for a 62.4-yard average and eight touchbacks. Sharp has kicked off 78 times for a 63.2-yard average and 59 touchbacks. Big edge to Sharp.
* Kickoff coverage: OSU has allowed two kickoff returns for touchdowns and a 25.1-yard average. OU has allowed just 18.7-yard average and no TDs. So edge to OU.
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