Florida Gators: Chas Henry

Tagging the Gators: P Kyle Christy

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at P Kyle Christy.

P Kyle Christy
Sophomore
46.1 yard average, 25 punts of 50 or more yards

[+] EnlargeKyle Christy
Kim Klement/US PresswireUF sophomore punter Kyle Christy had a 46.1-yard average and was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.
Role in 2012: Christy won the job in the second half of the 2011 season and continued his development in 2012. He turned out to be a vital part of UF’s turnaround.

The good: Because of the offensive limitations, coach Will Muschamp leaned on Christy as a field position weapon. Christy flipped the field again and again, putting 26 punts inside opponents' 20-yard line. He came up big and big games, too: he averaged 49.1 yards on seven punts and put three inside the 10-yard line against LSU and averaged 54.3 yards on seven punts against South Carolina. He is currently sixth nationally in average per punt, and if that holds through the Sugar Bowl, it would be a UF single-season record. He was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, which annually goes to the nation’s top punter.

The bad: There’s really not much to say here. He did have one punt blocked, but that was because of a breakdown in the protection by DT Omar Hunter. Christy worked pretty hard between the 2011 and 2012 seasons on his mechanics and speeding up his timing. He’ll continue to try and improve there.

Crystal ball: Christy has two more years to play and appears on his way to becoming one of the best punters in Southeastern Conference history. It’s kind of amazing the run of punters the Gators have had since 2003: Eric Wilbur (2003-06), Chas Henry (2007-10) and now Christy. He fits in with the way Muschamp wants to build his program: run the ball, play field position, win with defense.
ESPN’s GatorNation brings you the 30 things you need to know about Florida’s upcoming 2012 season. For 30 weekdays, we’ll preview games, talk about trends, spotlight players and positions, and give you pretty much everything you need to know to be ready for the season before the Sept. 1 opener against Bowling Green.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Let’s face it, the Florida-Georgia rivalry had gotten boring.

Florida’s lopsided victories in the 1990s and relatively uneventful games in the early 2000s had turned what was once one of the most bitter rivalries in college football into just another game.

[+] EnlargeGeorgia touchdown
Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press/Icon SMIThe entire Georgia team rushed the field after scoring the opening touchdown against Florida in 2007.
But things have heated up again over the past five years -- thanks in part to some questionable actions -- and now the rivalry between the SEC schools is as intense as ever. Players danced, eyes were almost gouged, and the infamous choke sign made an appearance.

Oh, yeah, and there’s the matter of Florida’s coach having played at Georgia, too.

Can’t wait to see what happens this year when the teams meet at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27.

THE INTENSITY IS BACK

Why has the Florida-Georgia rivalry heated up again? How about these five reasons:

(Read full post)

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