The truth is, field goals aren’t as important as they once were in college football. When teams are scoring four, five, six touchdowns, field goals lose their value. West Virginia’s 70-63 epic over Baylor? Three missed field goals in that game, none made.
Time was, OU-Texas was a field goal game. Tony DiRienzo’s field goal won the 1974 game for OU. R.D. Lashar’s miss in 1990 lost it for the Sooners. As recently as 2009, Texas won because it had a good kicker, Justin Tucker, and OU stunk on field goals. But I might take a kickoff returner over a kicker. In 2008, Texas trailed OU 14-3 when Shipley returned that kickoff for a touchdown, igniting the Longhorns when they looked listless. Texas won 45-35. In Stillwater last month, Monroe’s kickoff return gave UT a 21-14 lead in an eventual 41-36 victory.