December 20, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - The Poinsettia Bowl dragged into the fourth quarter, no touchdowns for either team, no excitement for the national television audience. To that point, the star of the game was the punter for Brigham Young, Riley Stephenson. By the time the evening was done, Stephenson had forced San Diego State to start a drive inside its five-yard line four times. The Aztecs started each drive by handing the ball to tailback Adam Muema. This time, after a San Diego State interception, the Aztecs started a drive on their three and tried the pass.
December 17, 2012
Michigan football Coach Brady Hoke has suspended cornerback J.T. Floyd , punter Will Hagerup and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne for a violation of team rules. Hoke said in an announcement Sunday that the three players would not travel with the 19th-ranked Wolverines for the Outback Bowl against No. 11 South Carolina in Tampa, Fla., because each of them used poor judgment. He didn't specify which team rules were broken. Floyd is a starting cornerback and Hagerup is the team's top punter.
November 26, 2012 |
Three UCLA football players and two from USC were first-team All-Pac-12 Conference selections, it was announced Monday. USC receiver Marqise Lee was chosen offensive player of the year. Trojans center Khaled Holmes and UCLA offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo, linebacker Anthony Barr and punter Jeff Locke also were first-team selections in voting by coaches. Oregon and Stanford each placed five players on the first team, Oregon State four. Lee, a sophomore, has 112 receptions for 1,680 yards, both conference records.
November 10, 2012 |
Through the first half of the NFL season, there have been 14 punts blocked. That might not sound like a lot, but consider there were nine in the entire 2011 season, meaning the league is on track for more than three times as many. Sure, it could be a statistical hiccup, although 14 is already more blocked punts than in any full season since 2003. (According to the Elias Sports Bureau, a record 31 punts were blocked in 1977.) Something strange is afoot this season, and it can't just be that the field of 32 punters includes five rookies since only three of the blocks were on first-year players.
September 14, 2012 |
How important is punting? All you have to do is watch UCLA's Jeff Locke perform his specialty. Sure, Locke has a boomer-type leg. He was 12th nationally last season when averaging 44.3 yards. But it's his soft touch that really impresses. He dropped a kick dead on the five-yard line last week. On the next play, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez was sacked by Datone Jones for a safety to give UCLA a 29-27 lead. "Any time we get in that area, inside the 50-yard line, he's very capable and more than likely to pin our opponent inside the 10," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said.
August 21, 2012 |
Jeff Locke's roommates are not entirely fond of the baseball-style cap that the UCLA punter insists on wearing. "Disgusting," is the way Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince describes it. "I refuse to touch it," says long snapper Kevin McDermott. Locke couldn't care less what his buddies think. "All's fair in friendship," he says with a smirk. The cap — a UCLA model, white with a powder blue brim — means a lot to Locke. Somewhere under the grime are dozens of signatures, scribbled by UCLA players as a prank orchestrated by Prince in 2009.