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OSU football: Mike Gundy calls the Cowboys kicking game poor

The OSU coach is not ready to make a switch at kicker or punter. He's counting on Ben Grogan and Kip Smith to work hard, improve.
Oklahoman Published: September 29, 2013

Kicker: Ben Grogan

Grogan is just 1-of-4 on field goal attempts this season, with his only make coming from 39 yards in a no-pressure situation against Lamar. Two of his misses were from 44 and 49 yards, but the latter attempt, which came late in the first half against Mississippi State, was so low that it was blocked and nearly returned for a touchdown. And clanking a chip shot off the right upright in a crucial situation is inexcusable, even for a true freshman.

Punter: Kip Smith

Smith was excellent against Mississippi State, averaging 45.2 yards per punt and plopping four of six inside the 20-yard line. He's been inconsistent ever since, which is most apparent in his performance against West Virginia. He tallied punts of 50, 48, 46 and 43 yards in that game, but the 16- and 13-yarders put the OSU defense in a bad spot and ultimately led to Mountaineer points.

Kickoffs: Kip Smith

Sharp's job was to boom those kicks to — or through — the end zone. The Cowboys are clearly trying to have Smith kick the ball sky high, forcing a return and helping the coverage unit. It's worked a bunch so far, as OSU leads the Big 12 and ranks 10th in the nation in kickoff return defense (17.32 yards allowed per return). For example, the kickoff return to start the second half against West Virginia went to the three, and Ronald Carswell was dropped there.