No one really knows, least of all Butch Davis who says he still has confidence that Casey Barth can get the job done. The question is does Barth?
"I don’t know if his confidence has,’’ Davis said. "I know that he’s mad at himself; I think that any kicker would be. Sometimes kickers are like quarterbacks; they’re their own worse critics. They want to be perfect, and I know that he wants to be perfect – he wants to make every kick. When I talk to him about it – like any kicker I’ve had – you talk to him in the context of a golfer that’s putting. You’re sitting there, and as much as you say, ‘We don’t expect you to make 50-footers in golf’, we don’t expect you to make 55-yarders in games very often. You might make some, but the ones … inside of three feet you’d like to make ‘em.
"But still, you see guys that do that for a living, and they still miss them. And it boils down to blocking out all the previous kicks, and it’s fundamentals. It’s your approach to the ball, your trust in the snapper, your trust in the holder."
Ultimately the problem with kickers is not the mechanics but the what goes on between the ears. As for Davis there are a couple of ways to parse this statement. On one hand, he is certainly trying to bolster his young kicker with expression of confidence. On the other hand I think the eventual measure of Davis' confidence will come when UNC is facing a fourth and short in the 30-45 yard FG range. Davis says Barth needs to make the "three feet" putts which might not be as long as one thinks. The good news is Barth, like the rest of the team, faces a couple of presumably easy opponents to work out the kinks.