Did you enjoy Louisiana Tech’s third-and-93? Well, Temple became at least the second team to punt on fourth-and-goal in September 2017, despite facing nowhere near the same distance as the Bulldogs.
What happened? From the play-by-play:
- 1st and Goal at HOU 7: Isaiah Wright run for a loss of 5 yards to the Houst 12
- 2nd and Goal at HOU 12: Logan Marchi pass incomplete to Ventell Bryant
- 3rd and Goal at HOU 12: Logan Marchi sacked by Emeke Egbule for a loss of 24 yards to the Houst 36 TEMPLE Penalty, intentional grounding (Logan Marchi) to the Houst 36
- 4th and Goal at HOU 36: Alex Starzyk punt for 31 yds, downed at the Houst 5
A TWENTY-FOUR YARD SACK! Let’s get a look at that one:
Punting on the 36 is often unwise, if you’re facing short conversion distance, but 36 yards is not short, in my opinion. That’s also outside the average college kicker’s range, though Temple long-distance kicker Aaron Boumerhi (yes, Temple uses two kickers) is pretty accurate.
It turns out Starzyk is also pretty accurate, because this whole thing ended up giving Temple’s defense about the same field position advantage it would’ve had if its offense had, say, gone for it on fourth down near the goal line. Houston ended up punting the ball right back to the Owls around midfield.
As long as we all keep punting from weirder and weirder distances, I’m fine with all of this.