1. Last night in the Belk Bowl, Duke freshman Will Monday uncorked what is probably the best punt you’ll ever see.
The punt will officially go down as a 79-yarder, but Monday kicks the ball at about the 11, and it tiptoes down the sideline before taking a strange turn just before the opposite goal line. That’s an 87-yard punt, if punts were measured at the point of the kick. His previous season long was 60.
What makes it so remarkable isn’t just the kick itself, which covers a very impressive distance in the air, or how it somehow hugs the sideline without going out of bounds. It’s the way that, right at the one-yard line, the ball comes to a complete stop despite momentum and expectations. The best possible result for a punt, short of forcing the other team into a turnover, is for it to stop at the one-yard line, and that’s exactly what this punt does.
The NCAA record for FBS schools is 99 yards, set by Pat Brady of Nevada against Loyola Marymount in 1950, but Brady had some help in the form of high winds. At least one observer suggested that this was the longest punt in NCAA history without the aid of wind.