After a mediocre 8-12 season in 2008, Jimmy Stephens was again tapped as place kicker for 2009. But after a few erratic outings, it was clear the job was up fpr grabs. Tress Way tried his luck against Nebraska, only to get blocked twice (46 and 45 yard tries) in the first quarter. Then, shanked one badly late in the third.
So against Texas A+M it was back to Stephens, who then missed an extra point. Check that, back to Way. Then Way missed badly again, this time from 35.
Bob Stoops had finally seen enough, and went to third string, ex-soccer player Patrick "Patty" O'Hara, who at that same time a year earlier had been driving a fork lift.
After nailing a 26-yarder in his first play in football, and finishing the year 6-of-9 (15 -of-15 extra-point att), it looked like O'Hara was the full time starter going into 2010. But after getting blocked, and then missing wide left in the Red/White game, O'Hara left the door open for Stephens.
Stephens, though not at all picture-perfect kicks, did step in and hit two field goals. So once again, it looks like Stephens will start the year as the number one guy. But also once again, after a mediocre 11-13 year, his leash is very short.
I wouldn't be surprised to see O'Hara take the field if Stephens misses another extra-point attempt.
What's clear is that someone needs to take control of place kicking duties for the Sooners, or just like in 2008, it may be a big reason why the crystal ball doesn't end up in Norman,OK.