Kyle Christy's fantastic year as a field-flipper for Florida earned him a chance at the highest honor for a college punter: But for Christy, the 2012 Ray Guy Award was not to be.
Christy was beaten for the honor by Louisana Tech's Ryan Allen, defending Ray Guy winner. Christy averaged 46.1 yards per punt, good for sixth in the nation, and was the only punter to average more than 46 yards per punt despite punting 60 or more times, but Allen led the nation in punting average and was the only punter to average more than 48 yards per punt.
Christy helped bury Tennessee, LSU, and South Carolina, in particular, averaging more than 48 yards per punt in those three games. He also averaged an astonishing 54.29 yards per punt on seven punts against the Gamecocks, booting all seven for more than 50 yards.
Forturnately for Christy, who is just a sophomore, he should be able to continue helping Florida's special teams dominate the margins for the next two years. Caleb Sturgis won't have that chance.
Earlier in the night, despite four years of rescuing the Gators time and again with some fantastic feats from his right foot, Sturgis was once more passed up for the Lou Groza Award. Tulane junior Cairo Santos — a Brazilian native who went to school in Sturgis' hometown of St. Augustine — won the award.
Santos made 21 of 21 field goals on the year to Sturgis' 23 of 27, and only missed one extra point on the season. Three of Sturgis' four misses were blocked; the fourth was a short field goal missed against Bowling Green in the fourth quarter of that game. I'm not saying giving the Groza to a guy who kicked 12 of his field goals in the Superdome is a sham, but ... I like Sturgis' credentials better.
On the bright side, Florida State's Dustin Hopkins, a fellow finalist, didn't win the Groza, either.