TU notebook: Headhunter
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, September 30, 2010
9/30/10 at 6:55 AM
TU deep snapper Bo Abbott said racing down to drill Central Arkansas punt returner Derek Owens last Saturday night was the highlight of his career.
"The only problem was, his helmet didn't fly off," Abbott said with a chuckle.
Abbott visualizes making a hit like the one Roy Roberts delivered on Bowling Green's Antonio Smith to send his helmet flying in the 2008 GMAC Bowl. The play was popular on the Internet.
"I wanted to replace Roy's highlight with mine, but it didn't work out that way this time," he said.
Abbott has assisted on tackles before, but this was his first direct hit.
"I've been working with (defensive line coach Paul Randolph) and I remember him saying, 'Go ahead and take a shot, because you're probably not gonna catch him if you (hesitate),' " Abbott said. "So I went for it, and luckily, the punt arrived in time."
Abbott said the best part about the play was that his parents and grandparents were in the stands and got to see it.
"They all thought it was great," he said.
Something special: Abbott is part of a kicking game that TU head coach Todd Graham said is the strength of the team.
Kevin Fitzpatrick has kicked seven straight field goals and Michael Such would rank eighth nationally with his 46.8-yard punting average if he had enough attempts (3.6 per game) to be included in the NCAA statistics.
TU is 11th nationally on punt coverage and 13th nationally in kickoff coverage with a unit comprised largely of freshmen.
Bixby freshman DeWitt Jennings said running down on kickoff coverage is one of the most dangerous plays in football, but it's one way to get on the field.
"You gotta work your butt off out here just to get looked at because there's so many good athletes," he said.
G'day mate: Memphis coach Larry Porter brought in punter Tom Hornsey from down under. Hornsey is a former Australian rules football player who trained at ProKick Australia, an academy used to assist in the transition to American football.
In his first college game against Mississippi State, Hornsey averaged 48.7 yards on nine punts. He had five punts of more than 50 yards in that game.
Original Print Headline: TU notebook: Headhunter