Saturday’s SEC contest against the LSU Tigers was a hard fought defensive struggle. The first half was negligible offensively for the Gators. They went into half time down 6-0 with only 47 yards of total offense. In the recent past this would have meant disaster for the Gators and they likely would have went into the lockerroom with an insurmountable deficit. That’s where the Gators most unsung pair of weapons came in handy.
Kyle Christy, the sophomore punter from Brownsburg, Indiana repeatedly flipped the field and kept the Tigers pinned deep in their own territory. Not only was he punting for distance, he opened with a 51 yarder and then followed that with a 61 yarder in the air, but he had consistently good hang time allowing our gunners to stop the LSU returner for little or no gain. While he has been a consistently great weapon all season for the Gators his performance against the Tigers kept them in the game in the first half and was certainly worthy of a game ball. Christy finished the game averaging 49.1 yards on 7 punts and he now leads the SEC in punting with a 46.5 yard average on 24 punts.
Amazingly, as great as Christy was in this game he wasn’t even Muschamp’s special teams player of the game. That honor went to Loucheiz Purifoy the starting corner and gunner on punts and kickoffs. Purifoy is a burner and head hunter who is the perfect complement to Christy’s booming leg. Purifoy, a state champion speedster in high school, has the speed to force the returner into fair catches or to down the ball inside the 5 yard line. And like we saw on Christy’s first punt on Saturday when the returner chooses to attempt a return, Purifoy has the desire and ability to take him out in the open field. Loucheiz laid out returner Beckham on that first punt and set the tone for the rest of the team for the rest of the game.
On the season, out of 24 punts Christy has 9 punts downed inside the 20 yard line and 9 punts of over 50 yards. At a school with a long history of great punters, this kid may just be the best overall. And with Purifoy once again leading the team in special teams tackles, we may just have the best one-two punch in the country.