Senior punter Max Duffy and senior offensive tackle Landon Young were named to The Associated Press All-Bowl Team for their performances in the 23-21 win over NC State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2021.
Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, punted five times and NC State’s average starting yard line was its own 16. One of those punts was arguably one of the most impressive punts of his career as he made a game-changing impact in UK’s win, alertly avoiding a blocked punt and keeping NC State backed up all day long. In the second quarter, an NC State player shot a gap and was going to block Duffy’s punt. However, at the last moment, Duffy saw him and held on to the ball as the player dove past him; then, Duffy stutter-stepped forward, and despite being surrounded by four opponents, got off a 42-yard punt to the NC State 19. Had the Wolfpack blocked the punt, it could have swung the momentum of the game.
In the fourth quarter, punting each time under the pressure of a one-score game, Duffy also placed a punt that was downed at the NC State 5-yard line, had another well-placed punt that was downed at the NC State 13-yard line and boomed a 51-yard kick that could only be returned one yard.
Young, of Lexington, Kentucky, played magnificently in Kentucky’s win. He graded at 92 percent, with 25 blocks at the point of attack, six knockdown blocks, allowed no quarterback sacks or pressures, and had no missed assignments or penalties.
With Kentucky clinging to a 16-14 lead with three minutes remaining in the game, Young’s block opened a gaping hole for Chris Rodriguez’ 26-yard game-clinching touchdown run; the hole was so huge that Rodriguez was untouched until crossing the goal line. He also had a point-of-attack block that sprang the longest play of the day, a 44-yard run, followed on the next play with a POA block on an 18-yard run, that set up Kentucky’s first touchdown. The Wildcats went on to rush for 288 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry (without three kneel-downs at the end of the game, totals were 291 yards and 6.6 per attempt).
‑ GO CATS –
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