It probably will come as small consolation to Georgia Tech fans smarting over the 24-10 loss to Clemson, but Pressley Harvin’s performance in the rain on Saturday night ranks among the best by a Yellow Jackets punter in recent memory.
Harvin punted nine times and averaged 46.9 yards per punt, including five of 50 yards or more. More notably, Clemson attempted to return just one of them and brought it back just one yard. The net punting average of 46.8 yards was critical in helping the Jackets stay close against Clemson.
“Pressley did a great job, a nice job,” coach Paul Johnson said.
The rain and slick conditions helped the cause of the punt team in dissuading Clemson from trying to bring back Harvin’s punts, but so did Harvin’s ability to kick directionally and use a rugby kick to give the cover team for time to get downfield. By comparison, Tech returner Brad Stewart returned two of Will Spiers’ seven punts and fair caught two more.
A net of 46.8 is phenomenal, particularly considering the volume of punts. (The nine punts were the most Tech has taken since 2007.) The nation’s top punt net team (Texas) averages 45.0 yards. Harvin is a strong candidate to be named ACC specialist of the week when the awards are announced Monday.
Harvin, a freshman, came to Tech as one of the top punting prospects in the country and continues to demonstrate his proficiency. He is averaging 46.0 yards per punt, which is seventh nationally and second in the ACC.
Tech’s season net punt average is now 41.0 yards per punt, 18th in the country and third in the ACC. Harvin said earlier this month that the punt cover unit’s goal is to average 38 yards in net for the season.
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