Amid the off-field distractions, Texas still needs a reliable kicker

Texas kicker Nick Rose is in jeopardy of losing his job.
Brendan Maloney/Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from the great Texas Twitter civil war has engulfed the Longhorns football program this week, the fact remains that there are games to play, and a reliable kicker to be found.

It’s easy to forget amid all the turmoil from Saturday’s 50-7 beat down at TCU, that kicker Nick Rose missed two more very makable, however inconsequential, field-goal attempts from 39 and 40 yards. Rose, of course, inexplicably flubbed the extra-point attempt in the final minute against Cal that very well could have forced that home loss into overtime.

Rose, who is 4-for-7 on field-goal attempts, including 3-for-6 from 30 yards and longer, didn’t help his cause at TCU with a knuckle-ball kickoff that bounced out of bounds in the first quarter. It set up the Horned Frogs for another touchdown a lead that swelled to 30-0 before the quarter was over.

As badly as Texas was beaten in Fort Worth, there will likely come a time when Texas will need a field goal to tie or win a game, or simply to cap off a drive. The Longhorns would love to know they have a reliable leg Saturday at the Cotton Bowl against No. 10 Oklahoma. But, they’ll likely have to cross their fingers with whichever kicker is asked to take the field.

On Monday, frustrated coach Charlie Strong said the competition was open. On Wednesday, the competition remained that way. 

So if not Rose, who?

Three other kickers are listed on the Texas roster, and the obvious conclusion is that coaches believed Rose was the best of the bunch. Junior Nick Jordan is the only other kicker on scholarship. He got his shot to replace former kicker Anthony Fera a couple years ago, but went 9-for-15 on his attempts and hasn’t played again.

Freshman Jon Coppens is a walk-on who made 8-of-10 field-goal attempts with a long of 45 yards in high school. Freshman Evan Moore connected on 7-of-8 field goals as a senior. He hit a career-best 53-yarder in 2013.