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NCAA Football

San Diego State Coach Rocky Long Plans on Shunning the Punt in 2012

San Diego State Aztecs coach Rocky Long plans on adopting a version of the Pulaski Academy approach to punting this fall.

What is this approach you ask?

Well, it’s to punt very, very rarely (if at all), opting instead to maximize every play available.

Long has been telling media types he will not punt the ball inside of the opponent’s 50 yard line during the 2012 season under any circumstances.

In Long’s opinion, having a few extra plays on each drive could be the difference between wins and losses– especially for a team like the Aztecs who aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut:

There’s a reason why he’s winning those games (in reference to Kevin Kelley at Pulaski). Maybe he just has better players than everybody else; or maybe it’s their team gets used to playing like that and the other teams don’t get used to playing like that. It’s fourth-and-7 — most defenses run off the field. And now they’re going to stay out there. What? How come the punt team isn’t coming out?

An important caveat here:  Pulaski Academy plays in a small school division in Arkansas which isn’t exactly ripe with first-tier college football talent.  San Diego State plays in the Mountain West Conference, which, while not a college powerhouse, includes plenty of players willing and able to turn turnovers on down at the 50 into points in a hurry.

Hell, I’m always one for innovation, but maybe Rocky Long is shooting too high here.

Punting in college football is there for a reason– more often than not games between two equally matched teams come down to field position in the end. Giving your opponent this type of field position requires more production out of your defense and could potentially keep them on the field much longer than necessary.

I digress.

Either way, I hope Coach Long’s punters never see the light of day just to make things more interesting.

After all, why not add a little action to the weekend’s more dull games to carry over Tuesday’s MAC-tion to the weekend.

I’m all for it.

Let’s do this Rocky.


Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.