BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd’s career started in storybook fashion — will it end the same way?
Former walk-on from the Dallas area has a season of eligibility remaining, but has said the New Mexico Bowl will be his final college game
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — If BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd could write the script to the conclusion of the New Mexico Bowl here Saturday, his college football career would end the same way it started.
With a game-winning kick.
“That would be a pretty cool way to have some bookends on my career,” Oldroyd said earlier this week in Provo. “You never know. You don’t get those chances often. It would be fun.”
“Yeah, that is the most important thing to me. You are not going to make every kick. You are going to miss important kicks, you are going to make important kicks. And so when you get in a little bit of a rut like that, the biggest thing is how you are going to respond.” — BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd
It would also bring some sweet redemption for Oldroyd, who went into the biggest slump of his career in September and briefly lost his starting job. Although he enrolled in 2016, Oldroyd technically has another year of eligibility remaining, but he said he is moving on after the bowl game.
“This is it for me, my last game,” he said. “It should be fun.”
Oldroyd has graduated and has a job lined up in tech sales for a security company, but first he will give the NFL a shot.
“I figure why not?” he said. “I will put myself out there and see if anyone (is interested), see if there are any takers. If not, that is fine. I will do my best.”
Oldroyd is from the Dallas area, so facing a Metroplex team such as SMU brings a smile to his face, although the Mustangs never recruited him out of Southlake Carroll High.
“No, nobody (recruited me). Definitely not them,” Oldroyd said. “I got into (BYU) and bombarded Ty Detmer and Ed Lamb with my film and got lucky. That’s the short version (of how he got to BYU).”
Of course, ardent BYU fans know what happened next.
In his first college game he came on in relief of a struggling kicker and booted the game-winning 33-yard field goal with eight seconds left to beat the Arizona Wildcats at the NFL home of the Arizona Cardinals.
Is a repeat performance from 2016 in the cards?
Oldroyd isn’t counting on it.
“I hope I provided some exciting moments for fans,” he said. “I have been part of some amazing games that I hope were fun to watch and witness as a fan. I hope that more often than not I was able to provide consistency in the kicking game, and when I didn’t I (still) provided some inspiration to anyone who has gone through a challenge on or off the field.”
After missing two field goals that would have beaten Baylor and another chip shot against Oregon, Oldroyd was replaced with walk-on Justen Smith, but eventually regained his status and has made his last three attempts.
“Yeah, that is the most important thing to me,” he said of the way he bounced back. “You are not going to make every kick. You are going to miss important kicks, you are going to make important kicks. And so when you get in a little bit of a rut like that, the biggest thing is how you are going to respond. I feel like I put together a string of solid games here at the end of the year, and that is all I can ask for.”
Oldroyd is third on BYU’s list of career made field goals with 49, trailing only Owen Pochman (66) and Matt Payne (54). He is second on BYU’s career scoring list with 331, behind only Mitch Payne’s 334.
Cougars on the air
17th annual New Mexico Bowl
BYU (7-5) vs. SMU (7-5)
Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. MST
University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM