Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Special" Players Make Big Contribution Despite Loss

Despite the debacle that was the loss to the Vols in Knoxville on Saturday, the game did provide some highlight moments for three members of the Georgia special teams. For all three of these players, this is not the first time they have shined through for the Dawgs. Here's a look at those three players and their contributions to Georgia special teams:

Drew Butler, Punter

Continuing the solid punting tradition Georgia has had under Coach Richt, Buter is living up to his family name and is currently leading the NCAA in punting with 49.8 average. Many were worried how Butler would perform coming into the 2009 season as his only action last season was as the pooch punter. Butler got off to a great start in the Oklahoma State game but many were worried because a few of his kicks were long because of the benefits of good bounces. Half way through the 2009 season, there is little doubt about Butler's ability. The sophomore punter should be a contender for All-SEC, All-American, and the Ray Guy Award come the end of the season.

The Dawgs failure to move the ball past the Tennessee 34 on Saturday meant a lot of work for Butler. Drew punted 6 times for 299 yards (a 49.8 average) including a long kick of 61 yards.

Brandon Boykin, Kick Off Returner

Sophomore Brandon Boykin has turned into a force for Georgia for the defense as well as special teams. In his second season after a stellar career at Fayette County High School, Boykin has taken over the starting corner spot left by Asher Allen. He has tallied two interceptions (against SC and LSU) and has been a pleasant surprise in the Georgia secondary. Boykin's most memorable achievements this year have been in the return game, where he burst onto the scene with a 100 yard touchdown return against South Carolina that ignited the Bulldogs to a 42-38 win.

Last week in Tennessee, Georgia was once again down 7-0 and Boykin quickly evened things out:

Boykin now has two 100 yard touchdown returns this season and is well on his way to an All-SEC honor.

Zach Renner, Punt Blocking Specialist
Did you know that Zach Renner now holds a spot in the Georgia record books? With his punt block against the Vols on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore from Monroe, Connecticut tied the Georgia all time career record for punt blocks with 3. Officially listed as a wide receiver, Renner has made a name for himself on special teams like fellow walk-ons Burt Jones and Chris Gaunder have in the past.

Renner's first punt block came against Arizona State in 2008. He didn't wait long to register #2, getting it the following week in the loss to Alabama. With the Dawgs trailing 24-10 just before half this past Saturday, Renner stuck his hand up and put himself in the Georgia record books:

Keep up the good work guys. The team needs it now more than ever!

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