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Tennessee punter Joe Doyle named finalist for Ray Guy award

Punter U.

Blake Toppmeyer- USA TODAY sports

The Tennessee football team has had quite an up and down season thus far. With a record of 4-5, the Vols need to win two of the next three games to secure a bowl bid in the first year of the Jeremy Pruitt era.

To do this, the Vols will need to be more consistent in all facets of the game; however, one part of the team that has always displayed excellent stability is the punting game. Tennessee has been known in the past as “Wide Receiver U”, but the last several years that moniker seems to have changed to “Punter U”.

In recent decades, the Vols have had some exceptional punters such as the Colquitt brothers, Michael Palardy, Trevor Daniel and now, Joe Doyle. Doyle was recently named as a finalist for the Ray Guy award, which is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding college punter. It is named in honor of Ray Guy, an All-American at Southern Mississippi and an all-Pro with the Oakland Raiders.

According to a release by the Tennessee media relations department, the nominees are “evaluated on their overall statistics and contributions to the team” with an extra emphasis on the percentage of punts downed inside the 20 yard line, percentage of punts not returned, and the punter’s net average.”

In his first season as the punter for Tennessee, the Knoxville native has punted 44 times for an impressive 1,877 yards through nine games with a 41.7 yard average. Doyle has also managed to pin 19 of those 44 punts inside the 20 yard line, which tacks him at a solid 2nd in the SEC. Only 7 of his punts have been returned for a meager net total of 1 yard. On top of this impressive array of stats, Doyle has also displayed great leg strength with 11 punts over 50 yards, 3 punts over 60 yards, and an astounding 71 yard punt in September against Georgia.

While it’s our hope that the Vols do not have to punt quite as much, it’s always vital to have a solid, reliable punter. Joe Doyle is off to a great start at home on rocky top, as he looks to add his name to a long list of superb Tennessee punters.