By JENNI CARLSON
Jimmy Stevens is like the Big 12 — he just keeps coming back to life.
It's been the darnedest thing. He is the most maligned Sooner in many moons. He is the guy who the coaches keep trying really hard to replace. Yet after four seasons, he is still the kicker.
Why would we think anything will change in the next month?
The truth is, Bob Stoops and Co. have come to grips with what Stevens can and can't do. Inside 40 yards, he's almost automatic. Outside 40 yards, not so much. So, the Sooners have decided to only ask Stevens what he can do.
He has responded. Four field goals last season in Bedlam. Three in the Big 12 title game. Three last week at Florida State. Those are three pretty big games, and Steven was solid.
He isn't perfect, but he isn't losing his job either.
By MIKE BALDWIN
Field goals don't have style points. They either go through the uprights or they don't. Jimmy Stevens is getting too much grief for his ugly line-drive kick that sealed the win over Florida State. Bottom line is he made it.
Stevens has made 16 of his last 17 kicks going back to last season, including four in a win over Oklahoma State, three against Nebraska in the Big 12 title game and three last week at Florida State.
But Michael Hunnicutt already kicks long field goals. The fact coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday at his weekly press conference that he's been impressed with Hunnicutt in practice and plans to get him some kicks in games is a sign Stoops realizes Stevens has been accurate but shaky.
Stay exclusively with Stevens, and the Sooners could risk losing a close game.
Right now, Hunnicutt is the backup relegated to field goals of 40 yards or more, but don't be shocked if he's called out of the bullpen.