Kentucky Punter’s Narrowly Avoided Disaster With A Pump Fake On A Punt In The Gator Bowl

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Bowl season, like every season in these trying times, has been weird. The Rose Bowl was played in Texas, away from its California home for the first time since World War II. Other things have been weird, too, but the silly season that strange bowl names and odd matchups usually conjures certainly feels different this year. Which perhaps is why it’s so satisfying to see a punter do his best to find order in a scene of chaos.

That’s what we got on Saturday in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, as Kentucky’s punter somehow made the best of an awful situation on special teams against NC State. Kentucky senior punter Max Duffy is one of 19 players on the Ray Guy watchlist for the best punter in college football, and he made a strong case that he’s also one of the smartest in football.

Early in the second quarter on Saturday, Duffy lined up to punt and saw a strong rush from the Wolfpack that all but blew up his timing to get the punt off. Instead of panicking, however, the wily senior made the rusher miss, then threaded the needle through other blockers and would-be punt blockers to get off a kick just before chaos struck.

It’s a pretty remarkable play when you consider just how much special teams is about timing. We’ve seen kickers get their flow interrupted and all hell breaks loose, especially when a punter’s rhythm is interrupted. But Duffy, who kicks Aussie-style, was smart enough to abort his first punt attempt, then find space to get another off before the several defenders around him could converge to block that kick.

Kentucky’s Twitter account even made a very clever meme of Duffy to celebrate the play.

We’ll see if Duffy takes home the Ray Guy Award later this month, but even though the voting has already taken place it’s certainly a highlight-reel play made by a punter well deserving of some praise.

Source: withleather

Kentucky Punter’s Narrowly Avoided Disaster With A Pump Fake On A Punt In The Gator Bowl