Video: Best punt evah?

posted at 6:46 pm on December 28, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

It’s 79 yards measured from the line of scrimmage, 89 from the point of the kick. But it’s not even so much the distance as how it gets there and where it ends up. Anyone who’s played a backyard game knows the ball can bounce like Buster Keaton’s hat. I haven’t seen a bounce (or careen?) this lucky in a long time.

Given this happened in a Duke bowl game (yep, that happened), I doubted too many of you caught it live, so enjoy. This is punter Will Monday in the second quarter of the Belk Bowl in Charlotte Thursday. The good news is he’s a freshman. The bad news is Duke football will probably give him plenty of chances to practice his skill:

I’m sure I could weave this laboriously into a fiscal cliff metaphor, but for today, let’s just keep the sports clean, shall we? For all the Duke haters out there, you’ll be glad to hear this was followed immediately by a 99-yard touchdown drive for Cincinnati. It was an entertaining game, and Duke hung in there playing pretty competent ball against a 9-win team, despite being robbed of a 53-yard field goal at the half thanks to an illegal substitution call against the Bearcats. Cincinnati won, 48-34 in a game that went from very sunny to very ugly for Duke in the last five minutes.

And now, in addition to the football, I have this for the ladies. Connor Vernon, a senior NFL prospect and all-time ACC leader in receiving yards (that happened, too). What? I have to cheer myself up during bowl season what with my Bulldogs so royally screwed. I like to imagine the reporter for the Duke Chronicle trying to figure out, “What are these yards you speak of?”

Connor Vernon

Please consider this a bowl season open thread for your venting and predictions, and of course, other highlight links.


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Awesome. Too bad Duke blew the game. Good to see their program improving.

CW on December 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

duke went to a bowl game?

….dude.

ted c on December 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Duke Football… That’s a bit like the UGA Honor Society…

phreshone on December 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Most punters can get a great deal of distance if they want to, but that’s not what they’re supposed to be trying for. The real goal is to make the punt go really high, so that the rest of the team can get downfield before it comes back down again. A shorter, higher punt is preferred to a longer, lower punt.

Steven Den Beste on December 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Fake rape accusing faculty. Duke should be torn down.

crash72 on December 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

What they really want is for the receiver to call for a fair catch because he knows that otherwise he’s going to get hammered just as soon as he catches the ball.

Steven Den Beste on December 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Best punt evah?

Awesome-Sauce!

Tim_CA on December 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Wait, Duke has a football team? But in all seriousness Cutcliffe is a great coach. I’m glad he’s no longer coaching at Tennessee. His offenses have my Dawgs fits. He has Duke heading in the right direction.

I seem to remember a punter punting the ball from the back of his endzone and the ball landing at the 1. Anyone remember that?

midgeorgian on December 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Great fun to see that nutty bounce, but let’s not fuss over him being a freshman. That wasn’t skill, and he’ll never do it again if he stays at Duke for twenty years.

But great fun.

Jaibones on December 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

When Duke fumbled the ball on the 1 yard line, with 1:04 left, score tied at 34-34, all I could do was laugh. Unbelievable.

portlandon on December 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Saw the whole game, pulling for Duke all the way (in honor of the wrongly accused Lacrosse team). The good news: the game was closer than the final score would suggest and that punt will be on every highlight reel for the rest of time. The bad news: well, of course, the final score. Anyway, it was good to see them give a darn good Cincinnati team a go.

TXUS on December 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

That’s not a nutty bounce, this is a nutty bounce.

SWalker on December 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I seem to remember a punter punting the ball from the back of his endzone and the ball landing at the 1. Anyone remember that?

I meant coming to a stop at the 1.

midgeorgian on December 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM

For all the Duke haters out there,

Wait, “Duke haters” extend to the football team? Never heard of such a thing. I’ll hate on Duke hoops all winter and into spring, but Duke football has never earned worse than a “meh” from me.

Gingotts on December 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM

No, that would be the senate/budget confrontation.

RoadRunner on December 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Great fun to see that nutty bounce, but let’s not fuss over him being a freshman. That wasn’t skill, and he’ll never do it again if he stays at Duke for twenty years.

But great fun.

Jaibones on December 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

His previous long was 60. His average for the year is about 44.1 yards per punt. The best first year average for a NFL punter is 45.92 by Frank Sinkwich, Detroit.

I think this kid has skill. I sense jealousy.

CW on December 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Duke B Ball does me well on my brackets too often. Love em but go Bucks.

CW on December 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Go Gophers!

Bowl game tonight.

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I have a challenger, but not on film (testament to my age): college rugby, Rutgers v Columbia. I get the ball and see about 5enemy jerseys bearing down on me so I think ‘kick to touch and we can regroup at the lineout’. Kicked it so it would go out asap and everything went slow-motion: the ball went straight for the school photographer (who I suspect was hoping for a shot of me getting buried) and into the camera. The explosion of blood and camera parts was too much – was laughing so hard I literally fell down. All the Columbia chicks were totally outraged, though – couldn’t see the humor, even though they were cheering every big hit against us. I still crack up when I think about it…

affenhauer on December 28, 2012 at 7:16 PM

The best punt ever was back in 1969 by rookie punter Steve O’Neal of the New York Jets at Mile High against the Broncos. Punted from the back of the end zone with the ball on the 1 and hit it just about 79 yards in the thin Denver air.

It got over the head of the Broncos deep man and then proceeded to roll just about 29 yards down to the Denver 1. A 98-yard punt is the most perfect punt you can ever kick — one yard further and it’s a touchback, and the ball starts out on the opposing team’s 20 (and while based on the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets’ recent offensive woes, you’d expect them to have a good punter, this did happen in 1969, right after the Jets were coming off their Super Bowl win and in a season when they lost in the playoffs to eventual Super Bowl IV champ Kansas City, so they really weren’t a team that punted a whole lot in ’69).

jon1979 on December 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

You know, if the NFL really does get rid of kickoffs and replaces them with punts, all of a sudden punters are going to be more important than they are now. Since Monday is a freshman, if he reaches the pros in four years, we could by then look at punters quite differently.

radjah shelduck on December 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Go Gophers!

Bowl game tonight.

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Just when we made up after our separation during the Texans/Vikings last weekend, here we go again, gg. This should be our last legal separation for awhile (but the Super Bowl would be worth it!!!). Anyway, we’re done, over, kaput (for the next few hours). :-(

Go Red Raiders!!!

TXUS on December 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

The photo is quite aesthetically pleasing, thanks.

talkingpoints on December 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

TXUS on December 28, 2012 at 7:21 PM

SIGH you sure know how to play with a girl’s heart.

;(

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Come on – the Dawgs will take the K out of ‘Nowledge.

If any conference is screwed in Bowl Season, it’s the B1G, which will go 0-7 this bowl season.

Steve Eggleston on December 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I saw a Cal punter kick an 89 yard punt back in 1987. The line of scrimmage was the Cal 9 yard line, and ball rolled to a stop at the USC 2.

aunursa on December 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

SIGH you sure know how to play with a girl’s heart.

;(

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Well, I guess you could root for the Raiders and all would be warm and fuzzy and back to normal … On the other hand, making up is a lot of fun, too. I mean, isn’t that the raison d’être for Victoria’s Secret?
;-)

TXUS on December 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

TXUS on December 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Jesus – get a room already… ;-)

affenhauer on December 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM

When Duke fumbled the ball on the 1 yard line, with 1:04 left, score tied at 34-34, all I could do was laugh. Unbelievable.

portlandon on December 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Meh…the Jets pull the same crud every season.

JetBoy on December 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Go Gophers!

Bowl game tonight.

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

.
Glad they made it to one.

listens2glenn on December 28, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Goddammit…

affenhauer on December 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM

How about Shane Lechler … 80 Yards … in the air

Gregor on December 28, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I guess one would have to know what that punt was so great to want to jump up and down about it.

Warner Todd Huston on December 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM

… 89 [yards] from the point of the kick.

Doesn’t that tie Obama’s personal record for his longest drive from a tee?

[As in hitting his golf ball, not navigating his cart ...]

ShainS on December 28, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Go Gophers!

Bowl game tonight.

gophergirl on December 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

For a state its size, Minnesiota has fewer Div. 1-A football teams or Div. 1 basketball teams than any other state – Just the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

Michigan, by comparison, has 5 Div. 1-A football teams and 7 schools that play Div. 1 basketball.

bw222 on December 28, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Duke should not have gone, though they played ok.

tomas on December 28, 2012 at 9:59 PM

In other news, there is such a thing as the Belk Bowl.

The Schaef on December 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Dook s*cks.

rcpjr on December 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I seem to remember a punter punting the ball from the back of his endzone and the ball landing at the 1. Anyone remember that?

midgeorgian on December 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

You must be referring to this:

The best punt ever was back in 1969 by rookie punter Steve O’Neal of the New York Jets at Mile High against the Broncos. Punted from the back of the end zone with the ball on the 1 and hit it just about 79 yards in the thin Denver air.

It got over the head of the Broncos deep man and then proceeded to roll just about 29 yards down to the Denver 1. A 98-yard punt is the most perfect punt you can ever kick — one yard further and it’s a touchback, and the ball starts out on the opposing team’s 20 (and while based on the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets’ recent offensive woes, you’d expect them to have a good punter, this did happen in 1969, right after the Jets were coming off their Super Bowl win and in a season when they lost in the playoffs to eventual Super Bowl IV champ Kansas City, so they really weren’t a team that punted a whole lot in ’69).

jon1979 on December 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Here’s a link to it, starting at 1:07 of the clip. What a kick (and bounce)!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htKoikjH0L8

Anti-Control on December 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The best punt I know of was an 81-yard quick kick by Johnny Evans of NC State which preserved 15-14 lead for a win at Penn State in 1975. With very little time left the wolfpack was pinned back near their own goal line and Penn State had a great kicker, Chris Bahr. On third down QB/punter Evans launched a quick kick which caught PSU by surprise. The ball rolled to the Penn State 10-yard line and they couldn’t get close enough for Bahr to attempt a game winning field goal. Now matter how great a punt is if the team doesn’t win it is moot.

vamoose on December 29, 2012 at 8:44 AM

What they really want is for the receiver to call for a fair catch because he knows that otherwise he’s going to get hammered just as soon as he catches the ball then drop it without ever having control so it’s a free ball.

Steven Den Beste on December 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM

FIFY. ;)

GWB on December 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Shout out for my NIU Huskies. Free Shoes University and several sports jerks have heaped on the indignation a MAC champ is in the Orange Bowl playing mighty FSU. All the pundits and FSU players are scoffing at a physically smaller team that will be playing without the head coach who got them there.

The Orange Bowl will be the most fun to watch bowl game this year because of the Northern Illinois University Huskies. They play the fastest tempo no-huddle on the planet, and do not let up until the final whistle. They win in the forth quarter when the other team is standing around bent over hands on hips gasping for breath.

If the refs call a tight game and don’t allow cheap shots-FSU’s stock in trade-NIU will come from behind fourth quarter and win.

NIU 50, FSU 45

Huskies baby; HUSKIES!!!!

MarkT on December 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Rather than best punt ever, I’d call this the best punting sequence ever: On the possession just before this one, the Cinn punter whacked one into the low seventies, and on the possession after this the Cinn punter had one come down in the 60′s, although there was a return to stop the role. Unreal.

Hucklebuck on December 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM

In addition, Duke fans can pat themselves on their collective backs because the players at Duke can at least spell football, which is beyond the capabilities of the players at many other FBS schools. As long as the present coach sticks around they will be entertaining, go to a bowl game every couple of years, and generally improve the moral of Duke graduates. What more can a truly academic oriented college ask for?

georgeofthedesert on December 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM