The Nebraska Huskers are putting up a fight at Oklahoma today, down 14-3 late in the third quarter. The offense hasn’t given the Husker defense much help, but they could also be much closer if not for the struggles of kicker Connor Culp.
Things got off to a strong start for Culp. On Nebraska’s first drive of the game, he capped a long 14-play, 42 yard drive with a 51 yard field goal to cut an early Sooners lead to 7-3.
It has been all downhill from there for the senior kicker, who was First-Team All-Big Ten and the league’s Baaken-Andersen Kicker of the Year in 2020. Midway through the second quarter, Culp missed a 50 yarder, that would have cut the Sooners lead to one. Later on, a few minutes into the third quarter, he missed an easier kick, a 35-yarder.
While the Nebraska program has been trying to find itself throughout the Scott Frost era, Culp hasn’t been the problem. He was 13-for-15, with a perfect 20-for-20 mark on extra points in 2020. This year, he’s just 3-for-8 and has missed a pair of extra points already. Today’s game is highlighting a bizarre year for him.
Reining Big Ten kicker of the year Connor Culp now 3/8 on FGs this year and he's missed five of his last six.
— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) September 18, 2021
What has happened to Connor Culp? Yikes.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 18, 2021
Even if Culp was perfect today, Nebraska would be down 14-9. Still, that would put them right in striking distance. With how the offense has failed to put points on the board so far, that single digit deficit would be far easier to overcome with one big drive.
Connor Culp misses wide left from 35. Such a promising drive. No points again. Special teams remain a mess for Nebraska.
— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) September 18, 2021
Some fans are already calling for Connor Culp to be benched.
The regression of Connor Culp is truly perplexing to me. Can someone with knowledge of the position explain what’s happening with him? #Huskers
— Tina (@TFSportsaddict) September 18, 2021
Connor Culp needs to be replaced. There’s no excuses to make for him. None. #GBR
— Go Big Redcast Rob (@RedcastRob) September 18, 2021
I honestly feel terrible for Connor Culp. But at some point, you have to find someone who can make these kicks.
— Mackenzie Huck (@MackenzieHuck) September 18, 2021
It’s never fun to see someone struggle like this, especially someone like Culp, who spoke to the media and answered for his performance last week, when he went 0-for-3 in the team’s win over Buffalo.
Last year, he proved he can be a top flight college kicker. Hopefully he gets things figured out before its too late.