FAKE PUNT AWARD WATCH: WEEK 4, 2015

The #FakePuntAlert award watch list is updated by week and will only be decided once all football is finished in these great United States of America for the 2015-16 season in the professional, semi-professional, collegiate, high school, etc. environments. To date, nobody in the NFL has tried a real fake punt.

UTAH

Opponent: Oregon

Score: Utah – Very Many, Oregon – Very Few

Result: Blowout Victory

It’s really funny when a team as generally good as Oregon loses to a team like Utah, who we could see possibly upsetting them in Lake City (I very recently learned that I am unaware of the geography of Utah) in a close game, but instead loses to them at home. It’s also very funny when a team like Utah runs a fake punt when up by so many points, also look at that punter go! He’s got speed and actually looks pretty afraid to use it. The added bobbled snap just adds to it, it was so close to being disastrous but ends up being a first down. I’m just guessing the long snapper had some nerves and put some extra strength on the snap that he didn’t need to. On top of all of that, there’s the fact that this was actually a re-kick due to an ESPN SkyCam wire.

Neat fact about the SkyCam wire: Allegedly one of the people I know in the Marching Jayhawks got hit by the SkyCam one of the last times ESPN came to Memorial Stadium. It’s deadly.

RATING: 8/10 – There’s just so much to like about this fake punt. It’s kind of the nail in the coffin for an Oregon team that’s always had good special teams.

WEST VIRGINIA

Opponent: Maryland

Score: WVU – 38, Maryland – 0

Result: Yeah Maryland didn’t come back

When you think of classic Big XII – Big Ten matchups, you think of games like Michigan and Texas in the 2004 Rose Bowl, or Kansas State and Purdue in the 1998 Alamo Bowl, or, hell, why not West Virginia and Maryland this year. This would’ve been Big East vs ACC in 2011. No amount of realignment can apparently stop West Virginia really not wanting to give up the ball on fourth down up by five touchdowns at home.

So far this season, every successful fake punt has followed the “TAKE IT AND RUN” method of fake punting – The punter takes the ball and runs. So far, no fumblerooskies, no ill-fated passes, and no direct snaps to a fullback. Good to see these punters getting exercise. A 38-0 fake punt is absolutely unnecessary and probably unsportsmanlike – However, I can guarantee you that coach Holgorsen ain’t care.

RATING: 6/10 – I mean, come on. Good job, but you don’t have to do that, now.

MICHIGAN

Opponent: BYU

Score: Michigan – 31, BYU – 0

Result: TURNOVER ON DOWNS

This is what would happen if that West Virginia fake had failed. You’re up 31-0 on a team that’s supposed to beat you and you run the fake punt in the second half, then you fail? What’s the point, even. If they made this, you’d see “WACKY COACH JIM HARBAUGH RUNS FAKE PUNT IN THE SECOND HALF AGAINST BYU UP 31-0?????” But instead, they failed, and I had to search through this whole game via ESPN’s terrible website to film this failed fake on my cell phone.

RATING: 2/10 – I respect the effort but it’s ultimately meaningless. If I had to record it, it can’t be that great.

MEMPHIS

Opponent: Bowling Green

Score: Memphis – 17, BGSU – 27

Result: Field Goal, eventual Memphis victory

Memphis is 4-0. Undefeated at the moment thanks in part to this fake punt. I’m going to give credit to the fake punt, at least. Very little creativity in this one, much like in almost every other instance this week, but still, good job – This game was won by three points, and this fake led to three points.

RATING: 6/10 – Both teams scored at least two more touchdowns after this so I won’t say it really turned the game around for the Tigers, but good job nonetheless.

SYRACUSE

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=13744223 (I don’t know if I can embed from ESPN or not)

Opponent: LSU

Score: Syracuse – 3, LSU – 7

Result: Missed Field Goal

This was technically a fake field goal, therefore DISQUALIFIED for the #FakePuntAlert award, but it was run by a punter, and HE HURDLED A MAN

HE HURDLED A MAN, THEN STARED HIM IN THE FACE, AND TOOK A SWING AT THE AIR SURROUNDING HIM. The defender stepped back to attempt to draw a foul (at least he didn’t hold his face) but did not receive one, and I choose to believe that’s because this punter would ascend to a higher plane of existence in his rage had it been called back, the dome would’ve been destroyed, and LSU probably still would’ve won by ten.

RATING: N/A – Look, this is a fake field goal. If I rated fake field goals as well as punts, I’d be here all day. In terms of football entertainment, it’s a 9/10 at least.


Though the NFL has seen no fake punts by the punting team up to this point, it has seen a few of the reverse fake punts, wherein the receiving team uses the sleight of hand to gain an advantage. I respect these, but do not consider them in these features.

CURRENT #FAKEPUNTALERT AWARD LEADER: TIE BETWEEN UCONN and UTAH

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About Joe Bush

The guy behind JoeBush.net and a lot of other things
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