Despite the rocky 2-7 season for the Cavaliers, there have been a couple standout individual performers on the team. I have already highlighted offensive stars like Smoke Mizzell and defensive playmakers like Micah Kiser and Quin Blanding, but one overlooked aspect is special teams, where punter Nicholas Conte has excelled.
The senior punter has averaged 45.5 yards per boot, which ranks him #1 in the ACC and #10 nationally. He has punted for 2,500 yards, which is #5 nationally, but not quite a stat you want to be known for, since it means the offense has been forced to punt too much.
In more of an indicator of a punter’s skill, Conte’s net average per punt is 41.5, which is also #1 in the ACC and #14 nationally. He has pinned 25 of his 55 punts inside the opponent’s 20, which is #2 in the country and #1 in power 5 conferences. Only 22% of his punts have been returned, which is #9 in the country and #1 in the ACC.
The Ray Guy award is the annual college football award for the best punter in the country and Conte is one of the announced candidates. Hopefully he can continue to nail punts while nailing down a trophy for the Hoos.