OU vs. Missouri: Will Jimmy Stevens be OU's kicker in a month?

OU POINT/COUNTERPOINT – Jimmy Stevens may be the most maligned Sooner in a long time. But will he still be OU's kicker in October?
by Jenni Carlson and Michael Baldwin Modified: September 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm •  Published: September 23, 2011
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YES

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.

NO

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.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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