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Chances are, you've noticed Oregon punter Blake Maimone's boot this season. The 6-foot-6, 228-pound punter has drilled consistent bombs through the Ducks' first four games. The senior's Duck tenure began in 2013. He's played for the likes of Mark Helfrich, Willie Taggart and now Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal. In his first season as Oregon's full-time punter, he is playing with wild success and headed for All-Pac-12 honors, none of which Cristobal takes credit for.
"I don't pretend to be a punting guru or a kicking coach, I am not," Cristobal said. "I can tell you about the operation, how to block it, protect it, make sure the shield is on point. But to me, it's a testament to him, to Coach (Bobby) Williams, the amount of work and time he has put into it because the trajectory of his play just keeps going up and up. I would give all credit to Blake."
A post shared by Blake Maimone (@blakemaimone) on Aug 5, 2019 at 5:45pm PDT
In the Ducks' most recent victory over Stanford, Maimone drilled six punts for 274 yards, a 45.7-yard average with two over 50 yards and five landing inside the 15. Oregon's strong defensive effort vs. Auburn was enhanced by excellent field position, Maimone averaged 45.7 yards on his six punts.
Cristobal spoke to the media after Maimone's performance at Stanford about the value of his extra yardage. Every 80 yards of hidden yardage that Maimone's punts provide equals an extra 6-7 points for the Ducks.
Maimone's 46.35 yard punting average ranks 22nd in the nation and second in the conference, a huge jump from last season when he and Tom Snee combined to rank 93rd in the nation and fifth in the conference with a 42.5 average.
The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native's booming leg is giving Oregon's defense an upper hand by forcing opponents to play in their backyard and it's turning heads: Maimone is up for the Ray Guy Award for punter of the week.
His longest punt this season went for 57 yards against the Cardinal. His career-long came as a junior with a 59-yard bomb at Utah. In Oregon's 7-6 win in the Redbox Bowl vs. Michigan State, Maimone punted a career-high seven times and made a masterful Dad joke. Following bowl practice, the team took a ferry to Alcatraz Island, site of famous shuttered prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay, which sparked Maimone's "lock down" joke.
A post shared by Blake Maimone (@blakemaimone) on Dec 29, 2018 at 2:03pm PST
Maimone's senior season is shaping up to be his best yet: putting the Ducks in a winning position and perusing a Masters Degree in Accounting with dad jokes galore.
Oregon punter Blake Maimone: Field position guru and dad jokes originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest