We have reached the end of the college football season and the time has come to honor some of the sport’s best. In terms of kicking and punting, narrowing a list down to five players was very difficult to do but here are the guys I think were better than the rest.
Check out previous kickers of the week here:
Michael Dickson (Jr.) – Punter – Texas
One of the easiest decisions for me to make about this list was Dickson. In my eyes, he was far and away the best punter this year. He punted 73 times for a nation leading 48.4 yard average. Any team would love to have someone who is able to flip the field as effectively as Dickson.
In addition to leading the nation is punting yards, Dickson also leads the nation in net punting yards by over one yard. This was huge for Texas this season as Dickson helped them qualify for a bowl game this season. 32 of his 73 punts also pinned the other team inside of the 20-yard line. He was tied for second in the NCAA with that mark as well.
Eddy Pineiro (Jr.) – Kicker – Florida
Leading the NCAA in field goal percentage will land you on this list every year. Pineiro converted on 17 of his 18 field goal attempts. This isn’t a huge number for a kicker on the year but his efficiency is what stands out to me.
Playing on a bad team can lead to a kicker seeing a lot of action. That was not true for Pineiro for much of the first half of the season. He was only six-of-seven through his first seven games of the season. The next three games saw Pineiro hitting all ten of his field goal attempts. Overall, despite the limited field goal attempts, Pineiro’s college football leading FG% lands him among the best kickers in the FBS.
Johnny Townsend (Sr.) – Punter – Florida
The only senior on this list gives the Florida Gators a sweep as well. Despite their 4-7 record, they had some phenomenal kicking and punting throughout the season. Townsend punted 64 times for a 47.6 yard average, good enough for second in the country. He also dropped 27 of those punts inside of his opponent’s 20-yard line. For much of the season, Townsend was viewed as the Gators’ MVP which makes it pretty easy for me to add him to this list.
Matt Gay (Jr.) – Kicker – Utah
One of the biggest legs this college football season was Utah’s Matt Gay. Connecting on 27 of his 31 attempts does not lead the nation is FG%, but it gives him the most field goals made in the country. Probably the most impressive part of his season was the length to which he hit most of his field goals.
Matt Gay was good on five of his six field goal attempts from 50 yards or more. Those field goals were from 56, 50, 53, 50, and 56 yards (in order). The longest field goal hit this season was from 57 yards. Having two field goals just one yard short of the long on the year is impressive in itself though.
Derrick Mitchell (Jr.) – Punter – Western Michigan
Mitchell isn’t a punter that stood out this season with long punts or absurd averages. Punting 65 times for a 42.4 yard average is not anything out of the ordinary. What Derrick Mitchell did that was so impressive this season was he dropped 33 of those 65 punts inside of opponents’ 20-yard line. Pinning the opponent deep within their own zone over half of the time you punt the ball makes you a huge threat. Despite the lower average than the other two punters on the list, Mitchell has earned his spot by leading the FBS in punts inside of the 20-yard line.