Norman, OK--Jimmy Stevens had a mostly horrible 2008 season as the Sooner kicker. Coming into the season hopes were high for Stevens. He was a local kid who had just finished a stellar high school career where he ended up as the all-time high school leader in field goals made (national record). Most fans assumed he'd step right in and thrive for Coach Stoops. That was not the case. As the year went on, he found himself benched after a missed FG then back as "the guy" after the back-up missed one as well. He finished off the season as the starter and made improvements. Going back to his old kicking style over the summer appears to be the best move he could have made. For the 2009 season, Stevens is 15-19 on field goals and a perfect 35 of 35 on extra points. It should be noted that of the 4 missed field goals he has missed 2 between 30-39 yards and 2 between 40 and 49 yards but has made both of his 50+ yard attempts.
This review of the game is focused on the kicker because the kicker was the focus of the game. In the picture above, Stevens holds his head down after his missed 47 yard attempt. He would later get a chance to redeem himself. The Sooners play this day was about as messy as the field they played on. The rain soaked field was no help today. It was a back and forth game all the way to the end. Two Sam Bradford interceptions (below, under pressure) gave the Wildcats life in the second half. They took advantage, scoring on two Klein touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter to tie the game.The Sooners drove the field and with only 2 seconds left on the clock, they turned to Jimmy Stevens. The snap was good, the hold by Landry Jones was perfect. The kick left the foot of Stevens "feeling good", he said after the game. "I thought it was perfect". He was right. The ball grooved down the middle of the goalposts to give the Sooners the last second victory, 34-31. (Sam Bradford is seen celebrating below). PLAYERS OF THE GAME: