Bliss On Record Pace as an Auburn Punter

Auburn senior punter Kody Bliss discusses his hot start to the season.

Auburn, Ala.--After putting up impressive numbers as a punter during his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, Kody Bliss has taken his performance to a significantly higher level as a senior.

Averaging 49.5 yards on his 17 punts this year, Bliss is off to an All-American caliber start through five games. The single season school record is 46.9 per punt in 1993 by Terry Daniel, who earned All-America honors that season.

Bliss averaged 42.9 yards as a freshman, 42.3 as a sophomore and his average of 44.9 last year earned him first team All-SEC status. It was also the third best single season average in Auburn football history.

Although he was already one of the best to ever punt for the Tigers, Bliss notes he wasn't content on the status quo heading into his senior year.

He notes that he and his former high school teammate, kicker John Vaughn, spent time training with kicking specialist Mike McCabe and that has made a positive difference for both players.

"We worked real hard over the summer on it and worked with Coach McCabe from One-On-One Kicking on my form and learning to get more hang time," Bliss says.

"I think the highest hang time I have gotten this year is 5.26 (seconds). I am averaging about 4.8 on my good punts. Last year I would say it was about 4.4 or 4.5"

Last week in Auburn's victory at South Carolina, Bliss only got to punt twice, but managed to launch a 69-yarder, which is his career longest.

"I have been doing a lot of drills to try to become as consistent as possible this season," the senior says. "I think I have done a real good job with that this year. I think that has helped me not have any bad kicks this year. Pretty much every kick has been the right kick at that time and been a big factor in field position."

Kody Bliss could be Auburn's first All-American kicking specialist since Damon Duval earned the honor as a field goal kicker in 2001.

Coach Tommy Tuberville gives his team's kickers a grade of "A" after five weeks of action and Bliss agrees.

"I think John is really having a strong season and Matt Clark is probably leading the nation in touchbacks," Bliss notes. "Last year I think the best in the SEC was 65 percent touchbacks and he is somewhere around 85 percent (23-28). All-around, I think we probably have the best three kickers on any team you look at it."

Bliss notes that Auburn's kickers went into the season determined to have a memorable performances. "We are all trying to be the best anywhere and it is showing," he says.

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