Certainly, the Aussie is one of the guiding forces to the Iowa Hawkeyes‘ 6-2 start.
The 6-foot-4, 232 pound punter boomed 10 punts for a career-high 506 punting yards. Six of those punts were downed inside the Badgers’ 20-yard line as Taylor played a key role in setting the Hawkeyes’ defense up for success and in keeping Wisconsin’s offense off balance.
Taylor’s efforts against the Badgers were rewarded with the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award. Then, after nine more punts for an average of 49.3 yards per punt against Minnesota, Taylor was recognized as the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week.
Folks nationally are taking notice of Taylor’s week in, week out heroics. ESPN included Taylor among its group of college football luxury players.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg had this to say about Taylor.
Taylor, the inspiration for the “Punting is Winning” T-shirts Iowa fans wear with pride, has been essential to the team’s 6-2 start. Iowa’s historic offensive struggles from 2022 have spilled over into this season, as a unit hampered by key injuries and other problems is averaging only 17.25 offensive points per game (122nd nationally).
Iowa needs to punt well to win, and Taylor has delivered, ranking second nationally in net punting average (45.96 yards) on 55 total punts, five more than any other player. He leads the nation in punts downed inside the 20-yard line (21) and ranks third with 10 punts downed inside the 10. – Rittenberg, ESPN.
Rittenberg spoke with Taylor recently, too, picking up this golden quote from the nation’s best punter.
“I didn’t fly all the way across the world to sit on the sideline. I love going out there and making plays, so there’s no pressure whatsoever,” Taylor said.
It’s a really nice write-up that Rittenberg put together on Taylor’s impact for Iowa, complete with quotes from Iowa special teams coordinator LeVar Woods as well.
One other pretty interesting note from Rittenberg: Iowa’s special teams unit ranks fourth nationally in expected points added.
Given how Iowa is structured, Taylor’s impact on the Hawkeyes’ success is pretty obvious. Taylor will leave Iowa City in that rarified air alongside legendary Hawkeye Reggie Roby.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF
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