Oklahoman Published: November 12, 2008
Breakdown A down year for OU in punting has been overshadowed by the problems at place-kicking and kickoff coverage.

Last year, Mike Knall averaged 43.7 yards per punt after beating out Michael Cohen.

This year, Knall is only averaging 35.8 yards a punt.

The punting unit had its worst performance at Kansas State, when veteran deep snapper Derek Shaw struggled with his accuracy.

That led to a 23.2-yard punting average and gave K-State several short fields.

Against Texas, Knall’s second-half fake punt run fell short, largely due to a missed block by Jermaine Gresham. That set up the Longhorns up on a scoring drive to give them their first lead of the game.

By the numbers

OU ranks No. 92 in the nation in net punting. The good news is that the Sooners haven’t allowed a punt to go for a score.

Looking ahead

The hope is that OU won’t have to use Knall much the rest of the year, which will mean the offense is scoring points.

Texas Tech also struggles at punting, but at OSU, which has All-America candidate Matt Fodge at punter, the Sooners could be hurt in the field position game.

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