GAMEDAY: Another Mirror - the Kicking Game

Florida and Tennessee are set to have strong campaigns in the kicking game. As usual, big games require solid performances from the placekickers, punters, and long snappers. Saturday's contest should leave the coaches confident that these players will be a much needed asset.

Tennessee may have the finest kicking tandem that the Gators will face in 2004. The Vols kickers have been flat out productive. That is especially true of punter Dustin Colquitt. The All-American punter launched several missiles that turned over for enormous benefit. Colquitt averaged 45.3 yards per punt last season. He had 19 punts of 50+ yards. The senior also had nine kicks that pinned opponents inside the 10 yard line. Snapper Scott Newsome has handles the punts for the past two years, and can double for kicks if needed. Newsome played at Jacksonville Ed White High School under Florida secondary coach Dan Disch.

Placekicker James Wilhoit hit 17 of 24 field goals as a true freshman for the Vols last season. He hit 12 of his last 14 earning him 2nd team Freshman All-America honors from the Sporting News. Wilhoit nailed a 51 yarder against the Gators in "The Swamp". He also nailed 41 consecutive PAT's. The Henderson native pinned opponents deep for 29 kickoffs for touchbacks. Long snapper Adam Miles has snapped for the placekicks for the past year and a half.

Florida senior Matt Leach hit 21 of 27. Leach also nailed 41 PAT's. The senior from Lakeland had a long of 50 yards against LSU. Leach is expected to have a strong senior season. Long snapper Casey Griffith of Vero Beach is a two-year starter.

Long kicker Matt Piotrowicz had 26 kickoffs sail into the endzone for touchbacks. The hit man has been a starter for four years. He has been one of the leading tacklers on the special teams and a fantastic motivator.

Punter Eric Wilbur finished with a 44.8 yards per punt. 1st team Sporting News AA. Wilbur is a competitor and will use this game as an opportunity to go head-to-head with Colquitt.


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