During the next two months leading up to the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Sooners Illustrated will breakdown the Oklahoma Sooners roster, starting with Jarvis Baxter (No. 1 on the roster) and working all the way down to Marquise Overton (No. 98) and the incoming freshmen.
We’ll look at last year’s performance, the best-case scenario for this season – without projecting injuries – and what each player means to the short-term or long-term success of the Sooners.
No. 43 – K/P Austin Seibert (5-foot-10, 214 pounds)
18-for-23 on FGs, 97.2 PAT percentage, 42 yard punting average
What happened last year: Seibert started his Oklahoma career with the most accurate run in Sooners’ history – hitting the first 10 field goals of his career. Then things got a little bit rocky as Seibert visibly wore down from both punting and the kicking as a true freshman. Seibert missed at least one field goal in five of the next six games after his streak ended. Before his first missed field goal, Seibert averaged 43.8 yards per punt. After that first miss, he averaged 39.8 yards. Not that the two are directly related but he wore down a bit from the great kicker he was at the start.
Level of importance for Sooners (1-10): 7. But now he understands what it means to be a collegiate kicker. After an off-season in the weight room and preparing himself for the rigors of kicking and punting in the Big 12 Conference – and maybe even doing kick-offs, he’s more capable and more valuable to Oklahoma this season. He’ll be counted on to hit at least one clutch field goal this year, something that he didn’t have to do much last year. Oklahoma has capable back-ups behind Seibert, but there’s a clear drop off from the former No. 1 kicker in the nation to a pair of former walk-ons.
Best-case scenario for this season: Seibert will want to cut down on his field goal misses and probably raise his punting average a bit, even though Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he’s happy with the average if it produces no return yards. Oklahoma allowed just 12 punt return yards all season. Adding a yard or two to the average won’t hurt, but cutting down to only three missed field goals is probably a bigger priority. It’s not crazy to think that Seibert could be the All-Big 12 punter or kicker or both at the end of the season.