Missouri's kicking troubles continue

Saturday, September 24, 2011 | 11:51 p.m. CDT; updated 6:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 29, 2011

NORMAN, Okla. — The snap and the placement were the same as usual, but the result of Grant Ressel’s pair of field goal attempts Saturday night in Norman, Okla., was not.

The ball went up, but it came down somewhere else other than between the two upright posts. The first time, wide to the left. The second time, wide to the right.

The Missouri kicker had missed just three field goal attempts in his first two years on the job, but this season has already seen four misses from Ressel.

Although Missouri’s offense struck first, the Sooners quickly demonstrated why they’re the nation’s No. 1 team, piling up points and doing it quickly. When Oklahoma scored 21 straight points to take a 24-14 lead, it was eventually Ressel's to answer. His field goal attempt in the waning minutes of the first half hooked to the left, and Missouri went into halftime down 10 rather than having a one-possession game on their hands.

Ressel missed a pair of field goals in Missouri’s overtime loss to Arizona State, most notably an attempt that would have won Missouri the game with seconds left in the fourth quarter of a tied game. That attempt came from 48 yards away, and his other miss was attempted from a whopping 54 yards away from the posts.

Saturday in Oklahoma, Ressel was a little closer to his target on both misses — 46 yards away both times — but the outcomes were the same.

Coach Gary Pinkel acknowledged that his kicker is struggling of late.

“We have to work with Grant. … He’s struggling a little bit. He’s really got a lot of ability, and we’ve just got to help him get his confidence back,” Pinkel said.

The player who holds the kicks for Ressel, wide receiver Brandon Gerau, said he has confidence in his kicker but the offense has to do a better job for Ressel.

“He’s going to make the kick, we still believe, every time he goes out there,” Gerau said. “But it’s our job as the offense to give him a little better position and score touchdowns, too, and try to eliminate those long field goals.”

Gerau knows more practice will work for Ressel.

“He’s got to go out to practice and start making kicks again, and I think we’ll be all right.”

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