Senior Andrew Maldonado has been spot on taking over for Jackson Rice as the thinking fan’s punter.
Through three games he’s averaging 43.3 yards a kick, and the punt team has limited returns to a 3.7 yard average. Against Tennessee in three punts, the Vols were held to one return, -1 yard. Gunner Terrance Mitchell made a nifty open field tackle. Maldonado has 2 punts downed deep and hasn’t had a touchback. Two of his punts have gone over 50 yards, aided by the strong coverage team.
Getting his kicks: The oft-maligned Alejandro Maldonado has been steady and dependable handling punting duties for the Ducks (goducks.com photo).
Long snapper Drew Howell’s snaps have been perfect, and holder Dustin Haines has been sure-handed, 1-1 on two-point conversion attempts.
Kicking off, Wogan has 7 touchbacks in the first 3 games, and he’s averaging 61.4 yards per kick to opponent’s 57.0 (Ducks were 57.7 last year). The coverage team has limited returns to 19.7 per return with a long of 27 yards.
Maldonado is 2-3 on field goal tries, with a miss wide right from 37 yards last Saturday. Wogan has made his one attempt, from 38 yards out, punched low but through the uprights. The senior from Colton is a perfect 13-13 on extra point tries. The freshman from North Carolina, the #1-rated prep kicker in the country in the 2013 recruiting class, has 10 makes, but Virginia got penetration inside and blocked an extra point try a week ago.