Colorado place-kicker Will Oliver has missed four field goal attempts in the past two games after missing just two in the first seven games this season.

And he considers himself lucky for it.

Oliver is happy the missed kicks haven't come in games that were closer where they could have affected whether the Buffs won or lost.

The Buffs lost two weeks ago at UCLA by 22 points and last week at Washington by a 52-point margin.

This week CU could be in a much closer contest with Cal coming to town. The Bears are winless in the Pac-12 Conference this season under first-year coach Sonny Dykes just like the Buffs and Oliver might be under pressure to make the difference for the Buffs.

When the Bears visited Folsom Field two years ago, overtime was needed before Cal prevailed.

"I'm still confident," Oliver said after Thursday's walkthrough. "There is nothing changed about that. I think it's just that I've got to be moving in the right direction always and these things happen and it's really about how you bounce back.

"I'm, frankly, lucky that it was in a game where it was a 52-point swing. Whereas, sure here or there with some momentum things might go differently but it wasn't a 9-6 game where I was coming up short. So there are little blessings in there."


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Oliver was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award given annually to the nation's best kicker, but he earned that honor largely on what he had done prior to the UCLA game. The four missed kicks over the past two weeks likely cost him any chance he might have had at winning the award because he has now made just 70 percent of his attempts this season.

"He needs to make them this week," coach Mike MacIntyre said when asked what has gone wrong with Oliver recently. "I talked to him about it. We need him to make field goals and he can kick them and make them. I'm pretty sure he will. He kicked well (Tuesday). He'll make them Saturday."

Contact staff writer Kyle Ringo at ringok@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/kyleringo.