The Third Phase: Dazed and Confused, But With More Punting


Welcome to The Third Phase. We’re here to celebrate the punter and all the good things that come with it in this column. Check out this link if you want to look back on previous columns.

Would you look at that, we’ve gotten through another terrific week of college football. So much excitement, and so many upsets.

However, if you’re reading this, it’s clear that you’re a fellow punting enthusiast and you want to see the punters get their praise.

Welcome friend! We’re glad to have you here. Sit back and enjoy reading some wonderful punting content.

A little improvising

Mitch Wishnowsky is very good at punting. He’s also the reigning Ray Guy Award winner. These are facts and not alternative in any sort of way or form.

If you want a good idea of how good he is, then check out his Ray Guy award pitch video.

Wishnowsky is the latest Australian punter to dominate the awards scene for Utah. Tom Hackett won the last two Ray Guy awards prior to Wishnowsky taking over the honors.

In Saturday’s win over San Jose State, Wishnowsky had to handle a bad snap, which can happen in college football. It’s a hazard to punting, sometimes.

However, Wishnowsky made the most of the snap bouncing off the turf. He scooped it up, took off and punted with his LEFT foot. For what it’s worth, Wishnowsky punts the ball with his right.

The punt was so successful that Wishnowsky pinned San Jose State inside the 20. That is talent, friends.

We praise Mr. Wishnowsky for continuing the punting dynasty trend that has been established at Utah. He’s competing to win and we love that.

I don’t know if he’ll win the Ray Guy Award again. However, we’re confident he’ll be in the running throughout the season.

Celebrating against Purdue

What is the acceptable protocol for a punter celebrating? Should a punter celebrate when the team is trailing? What if it’s against Purdue?

Well, Missouri punter Corey Fatony felt the need to celebrate an excellent punt, despite his team trailing against the Boilermakers.

Fatony sent that punt 65-yards and pinned Purdue inside their own five.

Fatony did a golf shot celebration, which seems kind of mild. Maybe that was the appropriate response. I don’t think a crotch chop would’ve worked with the Tigers down by that much.

All that aside, the punt happened early in the third quarter. It’s not like we haven’t seen someone come from 30-plus down this season.

Sometimes, you need to get momentum going, anything going really. I’m idealistic (and dumb) enough to believe punters can be the type of players to help turn things around for teams.

Anyway, Purdue still won 35-3. The Boilermakers are really good.

My pitch to McConaughey

Now we all saw the one and only Matthew McConaughey at the USC-Texas game Saturday night. It’s obvious he’s a big Texas fan and it shows with the rest of the Longhorns (fans, players, anyone associated with the program).

In my mind, I think McConaughey, given his excellent track record of work, can be the right personality to lead your campaign. Just look at all of his Lincoln commercials.

Now would seem like the right time for McConaughey to get behind the punting effort in college football.

Maybe he can star in a movie about punting. Plus, it isn’t like Texas doesn’t have a great punter. They have a pretty good one in Michael Dickson.

All I know is, a punting movie starring McConaughey would be box office gold and would likely win 12 Academy Awards.

A Heisman Campaign

Some players want to set higher goals and we certainly welcome the idea of including punters in this concept.

Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor has goals, no doubt about it. He’s focused on winning the Heisman Trophy. Yes, that is right, he wants to win the Heisman.

We’re definitely on board with this Heisman Campaign. If I had a vote, I would certainly vote Sinor for the Heisman (I probably won’t get to vote anytime soon).

You have to admire the commitment and marketing effort that Sinor is taking. He even has his own wonderful website. Geocities would be proud!

We hope all punters take on this initiative and compete for the Heisman. It’s time for a punter to win.

Most/Fewest Punts

We’re not counting Morgan State’s 11 for punts in a game. After all, Morgan State is an FCS team. We’re focusing on FBS for the time being.

We have a three-way tie for first with 10 punts. Central Michigan, Louisiana-Monroe and Utah State took the honors.

Meanwhile, Virginia, UConn, Iowa and Coastal Carolina each had one punt. What’s most amazing is that Virginia and UConn played each other and combined for two punts.


The Third Phase Punter of the Week will go to Will Spiers of Clemson. In the Louisville win, Spiers punted the ball four times, averaging 51.8 yards per punt.

Meanwhile, the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week goes to Baylor’s Drew Galitz.

In last week’s game, Galitz averaged 51.4 yards per punt on seven punts.