If the Texas Longhorns need to attempt a field goal against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, senior Nick Rose may not be the player who takes the field in that role.
Head coach Charlie Strong said Monday that the kicking competition is once again open for Texas after he held a meeting with Rose and expressed his displeasure about the on-field results this season. And it's not hard to see why Strong is upset -- Rose missed the game-tying extra point against California that would have sent the game into overtime and then missed two more field goals against TCU last weekend after he seemingly recovered enough to make both of his attempts against Oklahoma State.
The starting place kicker since Anthony Fera departed following the 2013 season, Rose has had issues with his consistency, missing two extra points in 2014 and hitting on only 66.7 of his attempts last season, including a blocked attempt against Baylor that was returned for a touchdown. The Highland Park product also failed to connect from 53 yards against Notre Dame in addition to his other, well-documented struggles.
Unfortunately, it's questionable whether there are any better options on campus. Here's what we know about the three other contenders, one of whom is on scholarship:
Junior Nick Jordan -- The other scholarship kicker on campus was a US Army All-American coming out of high school and even replaced Fera in 2012 when the Penn State transfer was attempting to come back from an injury he suffered before joining the Longhorns. However, Jordan struggled himself, connecting on only 9-of-15 attempts. He hasn't seen game action since then.
Freshman Jon Coppens -- The Nolan Catholic product was a consensus two-star prospect ranked as the No. 16 kicker nationally, Coppens originally planned to walk on at Wyoming, committing to the Cowboys last December. In January he decommitted from Wyoming and committed to Incarnate Word on the same day. Then he had another change of plans, pledging to Rice just before National Signing Day. However, he never signed his National Letter of Intent with the Owls and remained on the market in doing so.
Based on his offer list, academics were likely a priority for the 6'1, 195-pounder, as his 247Sports profile reports offers from Cornell, Dartmouth, and Yale, among others. He connected on 8-of-10 field-goal attempts, with a long of 45 yards, and converted all 25 extra point tries in his senior season, while also having some experience as a punter.
Redshirt freshman Evan Moore -- Out of Aubrey, Moore joined the team during the spring after spending three years as the starting punter and place kicker. As a senior, he hit 7-of-8 attempts, including a 53-yarder. He also participated in the Kohl's kicking camps during his prep years and there is video of his work here.