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OU coach Bob Stoops: New kickoff rules a 'good thing'

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: March 17, 2012
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“If you kicked it to the 5- or 7-yard line from the 30 it was considered a short kick. You move that up five yards you're to the 1- or 2-yard line. Wind also won't be as big a factor if you're kicking into the wind. Now from the 35, you can still hit it inside the 5.”

Way said the Sooners have watched film from the 2002 and 2003 OU teams when kickoffs were at the 35.

“I think the trajectory of the ball will change a lot,” Way said. “I think you'll see kickers trying to get more hang time to get it to the 5 or the goal line. There are a lot of fast guys on that (coverage) team. If you pin them at the 10- or 15-yard line that would be huge.”

Gundy, though, said it will be a challenge for kickers to master hang time.

“I don't think kickers are good enough in college,” Gundy said. “The NFL is a different deal. They want to hang it up because they're fast enough to get down there and get you them on about the 11- or 12-yard line.

“I'm not the kickoff (coverage) coach but I would think we might take every one of them in the end zone.”

That's part of the decision-making process since touchbacks will come out to the 25-yard line.

“Guys will kick it and we'll cover,” Gundy said. “If it goes through (the end zone) it goes through. We're not going to turn down a great kick. And we stress to all our guys to get down there and make plays, make a tackle inside the 20.”