I hate to be Father Time/the Oracle of UNT Seasons of Yore.
But I started to wonder today if history isn’t repeating itself when it comes to UNT’s kicking situation.
And in a side note, Where have you gone Nick Bazaldua?
The point is, I asked Dan McCarney on today’s conference call about Zach Olen’s confidence and his history of making big kicks in wake of his recent struggles.
McCarney pointed out that Olen struggled last year. True. He went 8-for-16, although part of the problem is that he had three blocked.
The year before (last season pre-Mac), Olen was pretty darn good and a second-team All-Sun Belt selection, but only after he got a vote of confidence following a battle with Trent Deans.
I remember talking with a member of the staff back then, and if memory serves me right, he told Olen, “You’re the best kicker out here. Go do it.”
Olen was pretty darn good the rest of the year.
He was also pretty good earlier this year. That all changed when he had a kick blocked against Kansas State. Olen missed an extra point after that.
All hell has broken loose since.
Olen hasn’t hit anything consistently and now UNT has an in-season kicking competition.
McCarney believes that is the way to go, and he has forgotten more about football than I will ever know.
But I couldn’t help but think back to a couple of years ago and a vote of confidence and a couple of kicks that got Olen going.
Maybe UNT can hope something similar happens this year.
And in a sad note, Sean Bass, a UNT graduate, Ticket host and noted Mean Green backer, was involved in a car accident that killed his girlfriend.
Sean was a student when I was in the early days at the paper. He was always a great guy to hang around with at practice back in the days when it was open. He always understood the job of the newspaper beat guy and was dedicated to his own craft in the radio business. The wife and I ran into him at dinner in Denton several years ago now, after he had graduated.
Anyway, great guy. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.