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Time for KU to kick bad-kicking reputation to curb

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Kansas place kicker Matthew Wyman (7) celebrates with his teammates following the Jayhawks' 24-21 overtime upset of Texas on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. Wyman kicked the game-winning field goal.

Kansas place kicker Matthew Wyman (7) celebrates with his teammates following the Jayhawks' 24-21 overtime upset of Texas on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. Wyman kicked the game-winning field goal. by Nick Krug

Kansas has had trouble blocking, passing and running in recent seasons. Consequently, the Jayhawks tend to have fewer drives into field-goal range than the the rest of the teams in the Big 12.

Still, more than that has led to the Jayhawks consistently ranking last in the Big 12 in field goals.

Too often, KU hasn’t even made the field goal part of its offense because the kickers have been too inconsistent to trust.

In the past seven seasons, a Big 12 team has not reached double figures in field goals just seven times. Four of those belong to Kansas and no other Big 12 squad has done it more than once. Baylor (eight field goals in 2016), Kansas State (eight in 2010) and Iowa State (eight in 2010) had off seasons. KU has had an off decade.

Average field goals for the past seven seasons from Big 12 schools: Oklahoma State (20.9), TCU and West Virginia (19.0), Oklahoma (18.9), Kansas State and Texas (16.4), Texas Tech (14.9), Baylor (13.7), Iowa State (12.3), Kansas (9.0).

Enter Liam Jones, the incoming freshman from Choctaw, Okla., charged with kicking to the curb the program's reputation for lousy kicking. A two-star prospect, per Rivals, Jones earned honorable mention all-state distinction.

A left-footed kicker, can win the job by doing little more than not losing it. He'll replace Matthew Wyman, who had his best season as a senior, making 13 of 19 field-goal attempts and all 26 extra points. Wyman made 5 of 5 field goals from 20-to-29 yards, 5 of 7 from 30 to 39, 2 of 4 from 40 to 49 and 1 of 3 from 50 to 59.

The 13 field goals Wyman kicked last season were the most by a Kansas kicker since 2009 when Jacob Branstetter also made 13 of 19 field goals.

Comments

Marc Frey 3 months ago

I do not have access to the stats from Baylor, KSU and ISU but a guess is that they score TDs and not settle for FGs.

Greg Ledom 3 months ago

My guess is that if you had access to their stats you would see they "settle" for field goals now and again and don't always score touchdowns. This article is about when you do have to settle you have a better than average chance of putting points on the board. Here's to Liam being able to get it done for us! Rock Chalk!

Chris DeWeese 3 months ago

There were definitely a handful of games we could have won if we had some competent kicking. Here's to Liam Jones turning it around for us.

Brett McCabe 3 months ago

Not to mention, missed, easy kicks deflate teams and they deflate crowds. It would be an interesting study to see the impact of missed but makable field goal attempts.

Last year was, indeed, better. The prior two years, you could see the team almost give up as we missed P.A.T.'s, short field goals, etc. This also lead to dead and angry crowds.

We need to nearly 100% inside the 40. These are kicks coming when the offense has driven pretty deep but been stopped. These are 3-pt kicks you must have.

Past 40 - kicking is a crap shoot, so you just need to get your share.

Dirk Medema 3 months ago

There's another kicker or 2 on campus as well IIRC, but Jones is definitely the most anticipated. Highlights that I've seen seemed to indicate that he has a big leg, but our greater concern is accuracy.

Brent Atwater 3 months ago

Should have signed the PK from Hays a couple years ago named Lane Clark instead of letting him going out of state to Tennessee State. Last year he was 4 for 5 from 50+ yards and 70% overall FG made and only missed 3 extra points in 2016 out of 37 tries.

Robert Brock 3 months ago

Why is KU so inept at kicking? Everybody has a good kicker but the Jayhawks.

Bob Bailey 3 months ago

Partly bad coaching.

During his stay, like 6 yrs ago, coach had several kickers that would kick the ball to where the Defenders weren't. VERY few runbacks that mattered. Today, the punters always kick to where they are. Bad coaching in my opinion. A good kicker should place the ball in a tub when it comes down. And probably rolling forward to out of bounds at the 1 yd line.

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