Analyzing the Place Kicking Decision: Part I

Head coach Bob Stoops recently elected to go with Patrick O'Hara for the place kicker spot, but did he make the right decision? Sooners Illustrated looks into some reasons why he did.

Why O'Hara makes sense:

1. He has the strongest leg--Given this, he has the most potential to boot through a longer kick, and that's evidenced by the numbers last year. Out of three place kickers, he was the only one to convert an attempt from 40+ yards, and it was from nearly 50 yards out. O'Hara made a 47-yarder in a contest at Texas Tech, part of his 1-for-2 performance during 2009 from 40 or farther. He missed a 52-yard attempt against Oklahoma State. The other two place kickers, Jimmy Stevens and Tress Way, combined to go 0-for-6 from 40 or farther.

2. He has been the "most" consistent throughout camp--Take it from Stoops. OU's looking for a guy that has the best chance of getting field goals to go through in every situation. And so far, he's proven that during fall camp, although none of the options have been very consistent at all.

3. He was flawless from short-range last season--At first glance, it probably seems like this should be a given. But consider that O'Hara was a walk-on coming into last year. With that said, one can expect a new kicker to miss a chip shot, and he did not. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from inside 30.

Stay tuned for the next part that provides reasons why it might be a gamble to go with O'Hara.

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