Bedlam football: Game might be decided on special teams

Sooners and Cowboys have good kickers if game comes down to field goals
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: November 30, 2011

NORMAN — If Bedlam comes down to a late-game field goal, the Sooners and Cowboys both have quality kickers, although both missed their biggest kick of the season.

Months ago, Oklahoma State appeared to have an edge in field goal kicking, but Oklahoma's Michael Hunnicutt has been highly productive (18-of-21) since seizing the job early in the season.

A redshirt freshman, Hunnicutt replaced senior Jimmy Stevens, who was sidelined by a strained quadriceps muscle after the second game.

Ever since he missed two field goals in a loss to Texas Tech, Hunnicutt has hit eight in a row, including four last week against Iowa State. Three were in a stiff north wind, too.

“This past game was the most solid balls I've hit all year,” Hunnicutt said. “I hope to finish out the season strong. It definitely gives me some confidence.”

One of Hunnicutt's two misses against Texas Tech was a kick that could have made it a one-possession game late, but his kick glanced off the right upright.

“It was a good learning experience to know how bad it feels,” Hunnicutt said. “I don't want to feel like that again. I just didn't get through it, didn't finish that kick.”

Oklahoma State junior Quinn Sharp also is among the nation's most accurate kickers (17-of-20) but missed his last attempt in an overtime loss at Iowa State. Late in regulation, Sharp's potential game-winning, go-ahead kick sailed over the top of the right upright.

“He's fine,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “It hurts (him) like everybody else. After that game, everything hurts. But he's OK. He practiced well last week.”

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