Aussies In The NFL: Give Rocca His Due
Sav Rocca was having a below average year before Week 14, sitting at 43.9 yards per punt with a net average of 39.3. While the average yards per punt placed him in the lower tier of NFL punters his net average had him ranked 21st in the NFL.
To his credit Rocca had done a good job as the holder for the Redskins. His kicker, Kai Forbath, since coming to the Redskins has not missed a single field goal attempt.
In general, Rocca’s year hasn’t been awful, but not great either.
Amid his up-and-down season, Rocca deserves some credit for the Washington Redskins thrilling (and terrifying) victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
While the first half saw both teams march up and down the fields the second turned into a war of attrition. Both defences switched on and severely limited the other team’s offence.
It is for this reason Sav’s performance on Sunday deserves to be singled out. He punted five times, averaging 48 yards per punt and severely stifled the Ravens’ dangerous return man Jacoby Jones.
This year Jones had already returned two kickoffs and one punt for a TD and has been one of the Ravens’ welcome surprises this season. Jones only managed a 8.8 yard average on his punt returns on the day, two yards fewer than his average.
In the fourth quarter Rocca completed punts of 49 and 51 yards, maximising the distance Joe Flacco and the Ravens had to march up the field to score. Both punts were made from the Redskins’ own seven and 14 yard lines. Very high pressure plays. His day also included a booming 57 yard punt in the second quarter.
Sav Rocca picked a really good time to deliver two booming punts. 51-yarder after having to re-punt.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) December 9, 2012
In a game that was decided by special teams play (an amazing punt return from Richard Crawford and clutch field goal from Forbath) it’s clear Rocca’s efforts were vitally important in keeping the Redskins in the game.
Sure, the game will be be forever marked by Kirk Cousin’s TD and two point conversion, or Crawford’s terrific scramble, but Rocca helped the Redskins get into a position where they could tie, and then win the game.
Exactly what a good punter does.
Aussies in the NCAA
The hype surrounding big-time nose tackle Jesse Williams of Alabama appears to be hitting a high note as he prepares to play in the BCS National Championship for the second time in a row, this time against the hot Notre Dame.
While in the States the run-stopping defensive linesman gets plenty of attention Australian media appears to be finally taking notice as well, particularly with this Herald Sun write up, but also with ESPN’s recent coverage of the SEC Championship game.
Should he win his second National Championship and continue to rise up the draft boards Australia’s interest in him should only increase.
Many have found Williams sneaking up in their mock drafts, some predicting that he’d go as early as the first round, an amazing achievement.
— Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) December 4, 2012
Jesse currently has 36 combined tackles on the season, although he stepped it up with 19 during the Month of November. He also has one sack on the season.
Great news for young Aussie talent looking to College Football and beyond.