"I'm confident that I can handle it,'' Lambert said. "Kicking is the same in a game as I do every single day in practice. The only difference is there's 80,000 people around you, 60,000 people around you. Same kicks.''
Well, so far, so good. Lambert said Friday that in the first week of practice he didn't miss a single kick. He admits to going through a rough patch the past two days, missing two on Thursday and three during a Friday morning practice, but even to that there's a bright side.
"Everyone misses. It's just how you bounce back,'' said Lambert, who began kicking when a middle school phys ed teacher saw him playing soccer and convinced him to try kicking a football. "It's actually a good thing, after doing good, to go ahead and miss so you know what that feels like. And then you know what to do to bounce back.''
One of the reasons Lambert might have hit a rough patch is that during that first week he did all the kicking, admitting that his leg was getting a bit tight. And so now he's not the only kicker in camp, Holgorsen having put out a call to freshman Mike Molina from Hurricane.
Unless something completely unexpected happens, though, Molina's task is merely to help save Lambert's leg and perhaps to compete for the kickoff job. The recent misses in practice have done nothing to curb Lambert's confidence or, perhaps, that of his coaches in his ability to get the job done.
Like any kicker, much of the issue is mental. Lambert says when he misses it's almost always because he doesn't follow through and pushes the ball right.
"If you do something good, you want to think about what got you to that point,'' Lambert said. "And if you do something bad, yeah, you need to understand what you did wrong, but you don't need to dwell on it too much because it's going to come back to bite you in the butt later on. The most important kick is the next kick.''
Lambert says his range is just over 50 yards and he wouldn't hesitate to try something longer, although at about 59-60 he reaches his max. Hopefully, the need for a 50-plus-yard kick won't arise until he gets settled into the job after a kick or two or even a game or two, because he admits he might be just a tad nervous.
"I've never had to go a year without actually playing, so yeah, I'm excited,'' said Lambert, who hasn't kicked in a game since high school in 2011. "Everyone's going to be a little nervous. It'll be my first game in front of a lot of people, a lot of eyes on me and a lot of weight on my shoulders.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.