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Punting is Winning: What a Battle in Happy Valley

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Stout and Robbins duel, Special Teams fuel another Iowa victory

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, I want to congratulate Blake Hayes, Adam Korsak, Brad Robbins, Jordan Stout, and Tory Taylor for being five of the ten semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award announced last week. I’ll present their cases (and PISSes), along with who got snubbed, in a special article later this week. Joining them are San Diego State’s Matt Araiza, Texas’s Cameron Dicker, Miami’s Lou Hedley, Colorado State’s Ryan Stonehouse, and Tulane’s Ryan White.

*For those not in the know, the Punting Index System Score is a metric developed by OTE commenter Ardichoke and myself to quantify greatness in punting. There are multiple systems to rate quarterbacks; we’ve developed a system to rate the most important position. For reference, an average PISS is about 35. For more information including the formula, read the related article.

Punter of the Week

Without a doubt, punter of the week is Jordan Stout. Hey, that rhymed! The Penn State Nittany Lion accumulated 204 yards of punting and never put one past the pylon. Okay I’ll stop. He had four punts, all four of which were downed inside the 20, with one being downed at the 1. He had a PISS of 50.703 on the day, making it his best game of the year. He also tacked on 18 yards passing on a fake punt, and -18 yards rushing and a fumble on a fake field goal. So we’ll call it a wash. Michigan’s starting field position following his punts averaged to the 9 yard line. His best punt of the day was a 49-yarder downed at the one in the fourth quarter.

The first honorable mention goes to the man opposite Stout on the day, Brad Robbins. Robbins had five punts with a 46.6 yard average, putting one inside the 5 with one touchback. He had a 41.132 PISS, raising his season average to 38.834. I will disagree with the tweet below, as he wasn’t the better punter on the day, but certainly he helped Michigan find the win.

Honorable mentions also go to Michigan State’s Bryce Baringer and Wisconsin’s Andy Vujnovich. Vujnovich had three punts for a 48.5 yard average, putting one inside the 20 and adding a 48-net yard touchback. His 42.593 PISS raised his season average to 35.684, and was his best game in which he attempted two or more punts (he twice had a single punt over 45 in a game). Baringer stuck two punts inside the 20 with a 50.5 yard average on four punts, with a long of 69 (nice) and a PISS on 42.004.

Poll

Who was the second best punter this week?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Vujnovich
    (13 votes)
  • 18%
    Baringer
    (18 votes)
  • 50%
    Robbins
    (48 votes)
  • 17%
    My guy, who I will make the case for in the comments
    (17 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

Kicker of the Week

Caleb Shudak had three extra points, two field goals, nine of Iowa’s 27 points, and a long of 50 yards to help the Hawkeyes to victory, and that sounds pretty dang good to me. It was his second make from 50+ this year, and he is now 29/29 on extra points and 14/16 on field goals, with only one miss inside 50 yards.

Honorable mention to Jordan Stout, who had the only other make from 50+ this week, as well as one from 42 yards. He went 3/4, missing from 43, and totaling 9 of Penn State’s 17 points. As mentioned above, though, more people noticed this than his lethality in special teams:

Returner of the Week

Michigan State’s Jayden Reed had four kick returns for 96 yards, which the math-inclined will notice is a 24-yard average, and a long of 39 yards. Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka had three kick returns for 76 yards. As a league, the Big Ten attempted 27 kick returns for 515 yards, and 8 punt returns for 16 yards. It was a boring week for returners. Iowa did block a 53-yard field goal attempt, so I’m gonna throw that in here since it’s basically the return game.

Outside the Empire

I haven’t done this in a while, but this is special. Iowa State was down 31-14 at the half, but came all the way back to tie it at 38 in the final minute. Then Texas Tech got just short of midfield and called game. College kicker. 62 yards. You love to see it.

Here’s your PISS, you sickos. Be sure to watch for the special Ray Guy semifinalist article.