John Clay is a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, one of the largest newspapers in Kentucky. He made a case for Florida getting away with illegal hook moves on the defensive line when blocking punts. Joker Phillips mentioned after practice yesterday that Florida linemen pull the offensive line to the side to let their speed players shoot the gap and get to the punter. Here is what Joker Phillips said:
“Speed. Speed, you know, at which they come off. And their speed are big guys. Their linebackers and defensive ends are on their punt team. We’ve got receivers and DBs on our punt team to try and get that speed on the field. They’ve got big guys pulling this guy that way, and this guy thata way and a little fast guy with world-class speed comes up the middle to block it. And you can’t get off the block. We’ve got to punch them in the mouth when they try to grab you and get their hands off of you and come off and block the little guy that tries to split the gap.”
Florida has blocked 2 punts already this season and has blocked many in recent memory against the Kentucky Wildcats. Joker did not accuse Florida of cheating, but John Clay ran with the quote and you can read his article here.
Chris Rainey blocked the 5th punt of his career against Tennessee and here is the video clip:
John Clay points out that the Gators’ lineman in front of Chris Rainey used his arm to hook and pull Tennessee’s lineman to the side so that Rainey had an open lane to the punter. Keep your eye on this circled lineman when watching the video above. According to the Kentucky writer, the lineman had a tight grip on Tennessee’s player during the action. Watch that video and let us know what you think…
What’s Your Opinion: Is Florida Cheating On Punt Blocks?
Here is the other blocked punt from earlier this year. The player came on the outside and Chris Rainey scored a touchdown. It doesn’t look like there is any defensive holding in this play: