The case of giving Jake Oldroyd a few more kicks

Superstitious people believe that bad things come three times. If that’s the case, it should be BYU player Jake Oldroyd on Saturday’s big night against Wyoming.

For the first time in a career that began with a game-winner firing against Arizona in 2016, Oldroyd missed three consecutive field goal attempts, and while the University of BP reopened its kicking competition this week, it wasn’t the time to give him the hook — but it’s getting closer.

Oldroyd scored four consecutive field goals to start the season, but wasting two late in the game against Baylor and another fiasco last week in Oregon left him kicking on thin ice.

Head coach Kalani Setaki has no choice but to give reserve kicker Justin Smith an extra reps in practice. Smith held a fine position last season when Oldroyd missed four games due to problems at the bottom-back. The freshman from Sandy made 14 of 15 point-by-point attempts and two of three field goal attempts—with his longest 40 yards coming up against Arizona.

Oldroid is a rookie in a red shirt with a history of consistency. Last season, he scored 9 of 13 field goals, including 6 of 7 between 30 and 39 yards. In 2020, he was a perfect 13 out of 13 and hit all three of his attempts for 50 yards or more. Oldroyd was runner-up to the Lou Groza Award honoring the best kickers in the country.

Even in 2019, his first year after a two-year church mission, Oldroyd called on 16 of 24, including 2 of 2 from 50 yards or more. The eight fouls are alarming, but he hasn’t missed it three times in a row, so far.

So what is BYU to do? Sit him down and let him think things through or put him in the game on Saturday night and let him rip one of them through the rolls? Sometimes, the more a person thinks about their problems, the worse it gets.

Wyoming and Utah states Baylor and Oregon. The margin of error will be greater during the next two games. Oldroyd got a chance to rediscover himself. However, with Notre Dame and Arkansas on the horizon, he must quickly fix things or give up the job.

Football is a game of results. Coaches are hired and fired based on gains and losses. Oldroyd netted Sitake’s first BYU win in 2016 with a 33-yard field goal with 4 seconds to play to beat Arizona, 18-16.

To say it was there, is an understatement. Oldroyd kicked quarterbacks Tysom Hill, Tanner Mangum, Zach Wilson, Baylor Romney and Garen Hall. He made 45 field goals which is a perfect 5 of 5 beyond 50 yards.

This funk he’s in is particularly odd considering all three fouls were 39 yards or less. Against Baylor pull both kicks to the left. Saturday in Oregon, he missed badly to the right. On all three kicks, the snap hit and suspension were perfect.

Oldroyd is physically fine. This is a problem that is located upstairs and makes it difficult to treat. If he gets the hook this week, he may not be back on the field. Hard to read kickers. However, with more time and a few more attempts, the demons that haunted him might dissipate.

After all, the most important kick of a kick is his next. They play a situation where the referee is quick and not always pleasant, but they also hold a job that can determine the outcome with their feet and their feet alone.

Fortunately for BYU, Oldroyd’s errors didn’t cost them a win over Baylor and his stride on Saturday, while stifling the team’s momentum in the second quarter, played no factor in the fact that the Cougars couldn’t stop the Ducks from scoring on their first six possessions.

So No. 19 BYU (2-1) kicks off against Wyoming (3-1) Saturday night (8:15 p.m. MDT, ESPN2) with some kicking position drama. Oldroyd will be greeted by fans as he trots onto the field with his field goal unit. Do fans underestimate BYU’s failure to keep him away from Smith, or do they support him multiple times as he works through the kinks of his kicks?

Setaki is too wise to give him every chance to bounce, but he also knows he can’t wait any longer. Oldroyd has two games to get things right. You gain extra time. However, when the Cougars go to Las Vegas to face Notre Dame on October 8, the time to gamble on field goals will be over.

It’s up to Aldroid to keep his job, and if bad news really does come in the form of three hits, like his three missed field goals, he’s set to bounce back on Saturday night.

Dave McCann is a contributor to Deseret News, studio host for “BYU Sports Nation Game Day”, “The Post Game Show” and “After More Review” and a stage host for BYUtv. He is also a co-host of “Y’s Guys” in

BYU player Jake Oldroyd kicks an extra point against Oregon at Utzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Desert News

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