Torpedo Blues

Junior punter <!--Default NodeId For John Torp is 1223689,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1223689]>John Torp</A> is having a huge season. He's currently second in the country in punting average (47.07 yards per punt) and second in net punting (42.2 ypp). But it looks as though Torp is out of the running for the Ray Guy Award, the honor given to the nation's best punter after each college football season.

Torp was not among the 10 names on the Ray Guy semi-finalist list released Friday by the Greater Augusta Sports Council, the organization that sponsors the award.

The organization's web site ( states that the award is chosen based on the following criteria: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20, average return yardage and percentage not returned.

Torp has punted 45 times this season. Fifteen punts, or 33 percent, have been downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Opponents have averaged 7.8 yards per return vs. CU this season.

Torp has booted 14 punts 50 yards or longer, with a long of 63, which came this past week at Saturday. That particular punt, which was downed at the 1-yard line by gunner Terrence Wheatley, was crucial in the outcome of the game. Colorado held the Jayhawks on their ensuing possession and Stephone Robinson returned the eventual Kansas punt for the go-ahead touchdown.

CU sports information director Dave Plati said he spoke with a Ray Guy Award representative and learned that Torp did not make the cut because too many of his punts were returned.

Opponents have returned 28 of Torp's 45 punts, or 62 percent.

But penalizing Torp for that statistic doesn't fly with CU head coach Gary Barnett.

"What they're telling us makes no sense to me as a football coach as to why he wouldn't be in there," Barnett said.

That's because the ultimate measure of a punter's effectiveness is net average — the difference in yards from the punting team's line of scrimmage and the receiving team's line of scrimmage after the punt play is finished.

Colorado has a strong history of great punters. Former Buffs Barry Helton, Keith English, Tom Rouen, Mitch Berger and Mark Mariscal were first-team All-American punters, and Mariscal earned the Ray Guy honor in 2002.

Plati made an 11th hour appeal to the Ray Guy committee for them to reconsider Torp for the semi-finalist list, but said he doubts they will add the junior at this point.

Meanwhile, fellow CU footer Mason Crosby is one of 20 players on the semi-finalist list for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top placekicker.

Crosby has the NCAA's longest kick so far this season (a 60-yarder), and has converted four kicks of 50 yards or longer. Except for the Texas A&M game, Crosby's also made it a habit of making most of his kickoffs unreturnable.

BuffStampede Top Stories