Let’s be honest with ourselves. Nobody remembers the kicker—or, for that matter, the goalie. The only time anybody notices the kicker or the goalie is when they mess up. It’s a zero sum game for these guys. Think about this: the field goal kicker can sit the bench for 59 minutes and 59 seconds of a game and then get sent in to win or lose the game. There is no more mentally testing position on the field than field goal kicker. Luckily, Tar Heel nation had Casey Barth.
In 10 games last season, the senior from Wilmington, N.C. was a perfect 44-for-44 in extra points. Barth was 79% with field goals, going 15-for-19 over the course of last season. He was a staple for the high powered offense. Barth was a complete steady hand in every sense of the word.
He’s been that way his whole season though. In 2010, he went 19-for-22. In 2009, he went 21-for-25. In 2008, he went 10-for-15. He’s been a staple for UNC his entire career. Oh, and by the way, he’s gone 160-for-161 on extra points. Casey Barth has literally hit every extra point but one. That’s 99.4% accuracy.
And, if you still don’t think the kicker is important, ask yourself how many games you’ve seen come down to a kick. That’s what I thought. It’s a lot of games.
So where does UNC go from here? Coach Larry Fedora made the right choice by not having Barth kick any during the last two games of the last season. The baton seems to be headed to Thomas Moore, the Chapel Hill native. He was handed the duties of kicker the last three games of the season.
However, UNC will lose an unsung hero in Casey Barth. It’s a true honor for a kicker to not have a lot of press around you. It means you did your job. Casey Barth has done his job.