Shortly after he missed a pair of field goal attempts that would have won BYU’s showdown with Baylor last Saturday night, Cougars kicker Jake Oldroyd checked his phone and email thinking he was about to be bombarded with negative messages.

None came.

Instead, Oldroyd said after Wednesday’s practice in Provo, “hundreds and hundreds of messages” flooded his inbox and pinged his phone, and all were positive and supportive.

“I was surprised at the overwhelming positivity from the whole fanbase,” Oldroyd said. “I expected to hear both sides. I made a big-time mistake in front of a lot of eyes. You expect that to happen. But it told me about the character of the BYU fanbase. A lot of people offered their love and support.

“Everybody has had the same message for me, and that’s something that I have channeled and used this week through the preparation, and hoping it will carry me through the season.” — BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd.

“It shows me that this is more than a game and that my identity as a person isn’t necessarily connected to my performance on the field. So I was grateful for that,” he continued.

The Cougars eventually took a 26-20 win in the second overtime, and the lasting image from that late-night game will be quarterback Jaren Hall embracing Oldroyd and telling him “over and over that he loved me, all the guys love me, and that he’s got my back.”

Four days removed from the 35-yard miss in regulation and the 37-yard miss in the first overtime — both attempts sailed wide left — Oldroyd described the ordeal as “tough, super tough, obviously.”

He said he is still trying to move on and get ready for Saturday’s game at No. 25 Oregon (1:30 p.m. MDT, Fox). 

“But yeah, I can’t hide what has happened in the past,” he said. “Gotta embrace it, so I am accepting how I didn’t execute it the way I wanted, but using that as motivation for this week.”

And yes, Oldroyd is still BYU’s starting kicker. Special teams coordinator Ed Lamb declared that on his “Coordinators’ Corner” program Monday, and Oldroyd confirmed it Wednesday.

“Of course, yeah,” Oldroyd said. “Everyone still has their faith and trust in me. I hope I can continue to keep that.”

The misses were startling because Oldroyd, a junior in his fifth year in the program, was a Lou Groza Award finalist in 2020 after making all 13 of his field goal attempts that year. He was 9 of 13 last year, and had made a 29-yard field goal earlier in the game to stake BYU to a 3-0 lead.

Hall to Oldroyd: The play of the postgame
The message of gratitude BYU kicker Jake Oldroyd shared after the Cougars’ win over Baylor

“He is our best kicker. He has proven that. We don’t make decisions anywhere on this team (hastily),” Lamb said. “We don’t base a long-term decision on short-term results. The competition will be and always has been open. It was open last week. It is open this week. But as of right now, he’s our best kicker and the best man to kick field goals at any given moment.”

Lamb said when he got home at 1 a.m. Sunday morning his wife was rewatching the game and had the television frozen on the moment Hall hugged Oldroyd.

“She wanted to show me this moment, and it was emotional for me to see. It still is at this point, because we know what Jake puts in, and how many games he has won for us,” Lamb said. “To see that kind of pain, it is hard.”

A few hours after that, Oldroyd was back out on BYU’s practice field, alone with his thoughts, working on his craft.

“Immediately just wanted to work on my craft, figure out what I could do better,” he said. “Identified a few things, a few changes. Obviously don’t want to kick more than I need to, do any harm to my body, but I have stayed within my schedule and made the changes I needed to.”

Later Sunday, and for the past three days, Oldroyd said he has talked to former BYU punter and good friend Jonny Linehan, one-on-one with head coach Kalani Sitake, and almost every one of his teammates.

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“Everybody has had the same message for me, and that’s something that I have channeled and used this week through the preparation, and hoping it will carry me through the season,” he said.

Regarding that moment with Hall, who has been praised wide and far for his leadership in that situation, Oldroyd said it was a gesture he will remember the rest of his life.

“During that last defensive stand, he came and knelt by me. He didn’t even really say anything until the game was over, but just kinda stayed with me and we prayed together in our hearts watched intently and hoped the defense would pull it out,” Oldroyd said. “And after we pulled it out, won, just a big wave of emotion, obviously.

“A lot of things going through my head, both disappointment and then really just grateful for my teammates having my back, pulling out the win,” he continued. “… That was really special for me, and I was glad other people could kind of share that same emotional moment. But I am super glad I have teammates like that that have my back.”

Cougars on the air

No. 12 BYU (2-0) at No. 25 Oregon (1-1)

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. MDT

Autzen Stadium

Eugene, Oregon

TV: Fox

Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM