The day started out splendidly for Oklahoma redshirt senior kicker Michael Hunnicutt.
After tying former Colorado kicker Mason Crosby for the most field goals in Big 12 history with a 38-yard, second-quarter boot in No. 11 Oklahoma’s Big 12 battle vs. No. 14 Kansas State, he could not have seen how sour it was going to turn out.
You can’t blame one player for a defeat. Any coach will tell you that. However, Hunnicutt has to be taking Saturday’s crushing 31-30 loss to Kansas State extremely hard.
Article continues below ...
After his record-setting effort, he missed two field goals — seemingly chip shots — and an extra point (which was blocked).
The good before the nightmare. Hunnicutt was 8 of 9 on field-goal attempts for the season coming into the game. He knocked through his 38-yarder to bring the Sooners within 21-17 in the second quarter. He was doing a great job following the lone instruction on his playbook.
And then it all fell apart: Hunnicutt later missed two fields goals, including a 19-yarder that he shanked with just 3:53 remaining and the Sooners trailing by one, and Oklahoma fell for the second time this season.
What seemed automatic to Oklahoma fans was shocking. Consider Hunnicutt had never hit fewer than 81 percent of his field-goal attempts coming into this season.
In 2013, he was a semifinalist for the Groza Award, which goes to the top kicker in the nation. He was also on the watch list in 2014.
The missed kicks quickly changed the tune on Twitter.
Of course, there was someone in the stadium who must understand how Hunnicutt feels.