the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 27, 2014

UTEP Miners Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


October 26, 2014 - kicker Jay Mattox punts, rugby-style 
"UTEP's big surprise this week was unveiling Jay Mattox as it's new rugby-style punter, and UTSA was impressed. The Roadrunners only managed to return two of his seven punts for nine yards, and he pinned them inside the 10-yard line on four of those seven boots. UTSA's first two drives of the third quarter started on the 2- and 8-yard lines. 'Field position in the third quarter was horrendous,' Roadrunner coach Larry Coker said. 'The rugby punter was hard to field. Usually there are not very many rugby punters. But this guy is really good.' The sophomore Mattox last punted in a game in high school and before Thursday last punted in practice in August of 2013." - The El Paso Times 

September 15, 2014 - punting committee excelling 
"What UTEP is doing better than any team in America right now is punting, though they only had one of those Saturday in the 42-24 victory against New Mexico State. That one punt, from Mike Ruggles even though Mikael Sroka is designated as the pooch punter, was downed on the 4-yard line, and after covering 47 yards it actually dropped Ruggles' average (third nationally before the game) to 48.3 yards per attempt. What is most amazing is that, using three punters, UTEP has downed six of its 12 punts inside the 10-yard line with zero touchbacks." The El Paso Times

August 5, 2014 - summer specialists
"Mike Ruggles is back at punter, Jay Mattox is back at kicker and Mikael Sroka is pushing on the punting front where he had a great start to fall camp. 'I feel better now that we actually have live kickers instead of using juggs machines," said coach Sean Kugler, who spent his first spring in El Paso with no kickers. "Ruggles and Mattox are both young but they are miles ahead of where they were last year and they have some competition pushing them. Ruggles worked hard over the summer and spring. Mattox is getting better'....  'I feel a lot more comfortable this year with the way things work, what I'm doing,' Ruggles said. 'I've made some adjustments. I have experience now, I know what to do in practice, games, everything else. I feel like I'm ready. Kugler does too, as Ruggles was given a scholarship prior to this fall in recognition of his improvement and work in the offseason. If Monday's first day of practice was an indication, Sroka, nominally a backup last year when he redshirted, could challenge him, but Ruggles' spot at the top of the depth chart was established in the spring.... 'I've worked really hard at it,' Mattox said. 'I have a lot more experience at going out and doing my job. It really made me grow up as a person in general and as a football player. I'm hoping to have a great season'." - The El Paso Times 


April 8, 2014 - kicker and punter competitions
"Incumbent Mike Ruggles is battling transfer Joseph Pickett at punter, incumbent Jay Mattox is battling Mikael Sroka at kicker.... 'The competition makes you better,' Mattox said, echoing a common sentiment among all four kickers. 'We've got a new coach, coach (Logan) Barrett (a former UTEP kicker), and it's really helped. And having a year of experience helps.' Mattox finished last year 7-of-15 on field goals with a long of 49 yards and he did make all 32 extra point attempts. Four of the misses were blocked. He was solid with kickoffs. Because of his experience he will get the longest look and UTEP felt good enough about him that they didn't recruit a kicker this year. Sroka, meanwhile, took last season as a redshirt when he worked his way up to backup. He's still in that spot but should have an opportunity to win the job. 'Having a year helps, but I've just got to compete the best I can,' said Sroka, who was an all-state kicker for Liberty Christian High in the North Texas town of Argyle. 'I got to see how games are, the atmosphere.' The punter battle should be one of the most competitive spots on the team and will carry over to the fall. The sophomore Pickett transferred from Angelo State and joined UTEP in the middle of September last year. He had to sit out because of the transfer but punted for the scout team and appears to be on a level with Ruggles." - The El Paso Times

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