The Third Phase: A Punter For All Seasons

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail

It’s that time of the week again where we talk about punting. That’s right, it’s another edition of the Third Phase. You know it, love it, and can’t live without it.

What would you do?

Punters sometimes take on additional roles to help out the special teams. They might handle kickoffs. But they could also serve as the placeholder for the kicker on field goal and PAT’s. Sometimes, punters have to do it all.

For Wake Forest punter Dom Maggio, he helps out with the field goal team. The best you can hope for in that situation is that nothing goes wrong.

Of course, if you were in Maggio’s situation on Saturday, your problem was that the placekicker wasn’t out on the field for a field goal attempt. That’s precisely what happened to Wake Forest during Saturday’s game against Notre Dame.

Maggio and the rest of the field goal team were out for the attempt. Of course, they were missing freshman placekicker Nick Sciba. For a few seconds, there was confusion.

Thankfully, Sciba made it out onto the field with plenty of time left on the play clock. Unfortunately for Sciba, he kicked it wide, bouncing the ball off the left upright. It’s tough to be in that position, no matter who you are.

But imagine for a second that you’re a punter. You’re out there ready to take the snap for the field goal try, but your kicker isn’t out there. What do you do?

Hopefully, if there is still enough time on the play clock, you’re alerting someone to the fact that there is no kicker on the field for the field goal try. Otherwise, you might have to either take a timeout or take the delay of game penalty, thus angering a lot of people, including the coaches. It’s an unenviable position to be in. Maggio did what he could to save the situation.

This seems like a good lesson for everyone to learn, though.

Good Punt Work

Nevada’s Quinton Conaway didn’t have a lot of long punts on Saturday against Toledo. However, he did get one inside the 20. Conaway’s punt landed inside the 15. It’s a good effort and everything worked out.

If that’s not enough, we also had a fake punt play that didn’t even need the punter.

This came during last Friday’s FAU/UCF game. There goes that Lane Kiffin team getting creative again. And the punter was safe the whole time.

Less Than Stellar Punt-Team Effort 

Unfortunately, our first clip is from the same game. A low snap proved to be costly as it led to a block and a touchdown for Toledo.

Unfortunately, a punt block for a touchdown also happened during the Missouri-Georgia game.

https://twitter.com/ESPNCFB/status/1043552399611387906

Missouri punter Corey Fatony had little time to get the punt off as a swarm of Georgia defenders collapsed on both the blockers and Fatony.

Meanwhile, the Bad Punt Coverage Award (an award that doesn’t really exist, but probably should) goes to Nebraska after giving up this touchdown to Michigan’s Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Officially, that punt return went for 60 yards. Unofficially though, it might as well have been for 150 yards. If I had to guess, that was really an 800-yard punt return for a touchdown. No, I’m not exaggerating. I would NEVER do such a thing.

Punter Spotlight: Mac Brown of Ole Miss

You don’t need to have a big punt on the field to make a difference. You don’t even need to punt. If you’re making a big difference off the field, then that’s all that matters.

For Ole Miss punter Mac Brown, he’s already made an impact. And it all has to do with selling lemonade.

This project for Brown all started in the seventh grade. It dates back to his time in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Brown wanted to raise money for a friend’s father, who was diagnosed with ALS. The initial goal was $500.

The lemonade stand idea eventually blossomed into donating the money to ALS research. The original intended recipient declined to take the money and told Brown to instead send it to research.

The Awesome Lemonade Stand, as it’s called, has been going on for seven years, taking place every June. Last year, the Stand went over $30,000. This year’s stand raised nearly $15,000 and as of now is just a few thousand dollars away from reaching $50k.

If you would like to learn more and even donate, then visit the website here.

A Lot of Punting

We didn’t have a lot of double-digit punting last week. However, we do have one for this segment. The honor goes to UConn’s Luke Magliozzi.

The redshirt freshman and former plumber booted the ball 10 times versus Syracuse, averaging 45.2 yards. He had two of his punts go more than 50 yards with his longest going 54.

The only other punter last week with double-digit punts was Adam Korsak of Rutgers. Interestingly enough, Korsak is fourth in the nation in punts with 29.

Awards

This punter has been solid thus far this season and he’s our pick for Third Phase Punter of the Week. That would be none other than Braden Mann of Texas A&M.

A couple of weeks ago during the Clemson game, he had an amazing 73-yard punt. He’s had some lengthy punts, including in last week’s game versus Alabama.

All five of Mann’s punts went 50 yards or more. In fact, four of those five went 60 yards or more, with his longest going 65. Because of this, Mann set a new NCAA record for average punting yards in a game with 60.8.

Meanwhile, the Ray Guy Award College Punter of the Week honors goes to Wade Lees of Maryland. Lees faced stiff competition for the honors from other elite punters like Jake Bailey of Stanford, Zach Sinor of Oklahoma State and Sterling Hofrichter of Syracuse.

Lees had five punts versus Minnesota, averaging 48.6 yards. He had two punts that went 50 or more yards, including a 56-yarder.