In news that shouldn’t surprise you, Max Duffy is a finalist for The Ray Guy Award, given annually to the best punter in college football. He’ll be competing with Houston’s Dane Roy and Syracuse’s Sterling Hofrichter for the honor, which will be presented on December 12 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Atlanta.
Duffy is Kentucky’s all-time leading punter with 46.54 yards per kick. This season, he’s averaging a nation-best 48.9 yards per punt, and outside of a shank vs. South Carolina, has been incredible. Duffy helped UK control field position against Missouri, bolting a career-long 70-yarder and pinning the Tigers inside the 20 three times. In that game he also busted off a 26-yard run on a fake punt that turned into a touchdown-scoring drive and served as the Wildcats’ knockout punch.
Against UT Martin on Saturday, Duffy put his body on the line to protect his stats. The Skyhawks’ Terry Williams returned Duffy’s 66-yard punt from inside the five almost to midfield — where he was met by Duffy himself:
“I was a little bit annoyed he got a return because I kicked it to the 3-yard line, and normally they don’t return that,” Duffy said after the game. “I don’t know if I would have gone after him as hard if I didn’t want to defend my stats. But I made sure he didn’t get the return.”
Behind Duffy’s leg and the special teams’ coverage, Kentucky leads the country with 45.24 net yards per punt. Nobody flips a field quite like he does.
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