AUBURN, Ala. — Georgia punter Jake Camarda came through in grand fashion when the game was in the balance at Auburn on Saturday.
Carmarda delivered booming kicks that flipped the field position over and over. It was a slugfest at Jordan-Hare Stadium, where every possession and yard seemed at a premium.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs pulled out a 21-14 win to clinch the SEC East Division on Saturday.
The sophomore from Norcross entered the game fourth in the SEC with a punting average of 46.8 yards per kick. He had 11 punts at Auburn, averaging 50.7 yards.
Camarda’s final punt, an angle kick, was designed not to allow a return and it set Auburn back 31 yards.
In the first half, Camarda averaged 55 yards per punt and dropped four punts inside the Auburn 20.
Carmarda’s biggest punt, however, may have come in the third quarter when the Bulldogs were pinned back at their own 2-yard line.
Camarda came through with a 58-yard boot, the coverage unit scampering down the field to make a tackle at the Auburn 42. It helped soften the blow of a personal foul penalty tacked on the end of the run.
It represented a great comeback of sorts for Camarda. He had struggled in a prime-time game against Notre Dame with punts of 25 and 27 yards.
Kirby Smart said at the time he believed in Camarda, a 2017 All-State Class 7A first-team punter by AJC and Georgia Sports Writers Association.
It paid off.
“He’s an unbelievable punter, he just didn’t hit great punts tonight,” Smart said after the Notre Dame game. “He’ll go back to the drawing board, and we’ll get him better.”
Georgia did just that, and Camarda became mentally tougher as a result of it and came up clutch in the most hostile road environment of the season.