Hold it: How Florida skirts the rules to block punts

(AP photo)

Update: Punt block legit, says Muschamp

Updated at 9:55 with Joker quote.

In 2008, in the very first quarter in Gainesville, Florida blocked back-to-back Kentucky punts and recovered each inside the UK 5-yard line. The Gators scored touchdowns on the first play after each block. The rout was on. In 2009, at Commonwealth, Florida’s Chris Rainey blocked a UK punt and recovered in the end zone for a TD in the Gators’ 41-7 win.

So does Florida use a bit of illegal trickery to blog block punts? Kentucky coach Joker Phillips seemed to imply as much today after practice when talking about the Gators’ ability to block punts. Phillips mentioned, not in an accusatory tone, that the Gator linemen will pull the offensive linemen one direction or the other to let a teammate shoot the gap and get to the punter.

Update — Here is the Phillips quote: “Speed. Speed, you know, at which they come off. And their speed are big guys. Their linebackers and defensive ends are on their punt team. We’ve got receivers and DBs on our punt team to try and get that speed on the field. They’ve got big guys pulling this guy that way, and this guy thata way and a little fast guy with world-class speed comes up the middle to block it. And you can’t get off the block. We’ve got to punch them in the mouth when they try to grab you and get their hands off of you and come off and block the little guy that tries to split the gap.”

And that’s exactly what Florida did last Saturday when Chris Rainey blocked a Tennessee punt early in the second quarter.

Here are the pictures.

Frame 1: Here Gary Danielson circles Rainey as he lines up behind the linemen as Tennessee is in punt formation.

Frame 2: After the snap, you can see (1) the Florida lineman using his arm to hook the Tennessee offensive lineman and pull him to Florida’s left. Meanwhile, the Florida lineman (2) to the right of Rainey takes an outside angle to help open the gap for Rainey.

Frame 3: As the Florida lineman pulls his man downfield (3), Rainey shoots the gap (4).

Frame 4: Rainey blocks the Tennessee punt.

Here is video of Phillips when asked why Florida is so good at blocking punts.


Here is Rainey blocking a Kentucky punt for a touchdown in 2009.

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  1. [...] Here is how Florida cheats to block punts Hold it: How Florida skirts the rules to block punts John Clay's Sidelines [...]

  2. mothman says:

    Skirts?….Joker, worry a little more about losing to l’ville and less about blocking Florida, blocking punts. it’s not gonna be the only reason you lose Saturday

  3. [...] http://johnclay.bloginky.com/2011/09…o-block-punts/ Already saying we will be using illegal tactics to block their punts. __________________ [...]

  4. [...] Florida has blocked 2 punts already this season and has blocked many in recent memory against the Kentucky Wildcats. Joker did not accuse Florida of cheating, but John Clay ran with the quote and you can read his article here. [...]

  5. Chris says:

    Funny, it looks like the Florida linemen is actually being driven back, its hard to hook someone when you arent driving the bus. The pictures are also conveniently ignoring the second level blocker that is staring at the lineman that is being “hooked” in picture 2. You can see him whiffing on Rainey in picture 3. He was unblocked the entire time, how did Florida cheat to get him to whiff on his assignment?

  6. JackB says:

    Joker did not say it in an accusatory or whiney fashion – he was just commenting on the method used and how to fight it. So the Gator fans can go crawl back in the swamp.

  7. JOKEr says:

    Boo Hoo…..Boo Hoo

  8. Jake says:

    I don’t think Joker said it in accusatory fashion….I think this blog MADE IT accusatory.

    Either way…I don’t think Florida did anything wrong. This comes off as petty and whiny.

  9. [...] are its running backs.11.  Will Muschamp isn’t buying Joker Phillips’ suggestion that UF takes an illegal approach to punt blocks.12.  Georgia safety Jakar Hamilton plans to transfer and find a fresh start.13.  The NCAA has [...]

  10. [...] – Joker Phillips insinuates that the Gators are using a little trickery in their blocking to block punts on special teams. (Lexington Herald-Leader) [...]

  11. CitrusGator says:

    So let me get this right… The Gator’s defensive front line opens a hole for a potential punt blocker can get into the back field…. and that’s illegal? Isn’t this the same as the defensive front opening a hole for a blitizing linebacker or safety to sack the quarterback? BTW what the hell is the Tenn player standing in front of the kicker there for? To block a potential player who might be close to blocking the kick.

    Just learn how to play the game and quit bitching.