The Kentucky junior honored for being nation’s top punter after outstanding season
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior punter Max Duffy has been named the winner of the 2019 Ray Guy Award given to the nation’s top punter, the Augusta Sports Council announced Thursday night during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN in Atlanta.
Duffy, of Perth, Australia, has been an absolute weapon for the Wildcats this season, dominating the field position game with his booming and accurate leg. He leads the nation in punting at 48.6 yards per punt and has helped the Cats lead the nation in net punting as well. He has been consistently excellent this season and was twice named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week. Duffy also is UK’s all-time leading career punter at 46.47 yards on 107 kicks.
Duffy recently earned first-team All-SEC honors by the AP, first-team All-America by the FWAA and was a second-team choice by the league coaches.
He was twice been named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week during the regular season and earned Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 28 after a magnificent night of punting vs. Missouri. He was on the Ray’s 8 weekly honor roll three times. He also was a First-Team Midseason All-America choice by ESPN and The Sporting News and a Second-Team Midseason All-America selection by the Associated Press.
Against South Carolina, Duffy set two school records, breaking his own single-game school record (min. 8 punts), averaging 51.1 yards on nine kicks and in the process, became UK’s career punting leader.
On a rainy, Saturday night against Missouri, Duffy punted five times for 262 yards (52.4 average), had a career-best 70-yard punt and pinned Mizzou inside its own 20-yard line three times. Duffy’s 70-yard punt was the longest by a UK player in an SEC game since Ryan Tydlacka vs. Ole Miss in 2010 (73 yards). Duffy also scampered 26 yards for a first down on a fake punt. It kept the drive alive that set up Kentucky’s final touchdown.
He also made a huge impact in UK’s wins over Toledo and Eastern Michigan. In the Toledo game, he punted six times for a 54-yard average, the second-highest single-game average in school history (min. 5 punts). Against EMU, he only punted three times but his three punts forced Eastern Michigan to start on its own 8, 11 and 13-yard lines. EMU did not score following any of his punts, helping set up UK touchdowns on both of its subsequent possessions (a third EMU possession ended the half).