When Jake Camarda stepped to the podium on Monday, he didn’t want to talk about his performance against Arkansas. Nor did he want to say much about being named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after five of his seven punts were down inside the 20.
Instead, the sophomore punter wanted to talk about golf. So that’s what he did, while answering the occasional football question.
Camarda said Tiger Woods was favorite to win the Masters and that he’d love to play in a foursome against his head coach Kirby Smart.
The Georgia punter also did equate the rigors of punting to that of golf.
“Golf takes a lot of patience sometimes. Golf and punting, they come together really well,” Camarda said. “When you hit a bad punt, you have to go back out there and hit a good punt the next time you’re out there. You have to let that bad shot get out of your head.
“Same as golf. If I hit a really bad shot off of a par-3, I’m thinking ‘I have to get up and down right here. That next shot has to be good.’”
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) September 28, 2020
Camarda hit seven punts on Saturday against Arkansas, with five of them being downed inside the Razorbacks’ 20-yard line. Only one of his seven punts ended up resulting in a touchback.
It was a strong debut for Camarda after being named Second Team All-SEC punter in the preseason.
Camarda’s performance was a big reason why the Georgia special teams were so strong. The Bulldogs also blocked a punt, had two Kenny McIntosh kickoff returns go for over 40-yards and averaged 19 yards per punt return.
“We have an experienced punter who punted the ball well, and some really competitive gunners that we worked all offseason on being a better ‘pin the team inside the 10,’” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “Those reps showed. We were very fortunate to have those reps show.”
It wasn’t all positive though from Smart when it comes to special teams. He emphasized that he wanted to see more out of the return game, especially given the inexperience Georgia has on offense.
And with the No. 7 Auburn Tigers coming to town this weekend, Smart expects special teams to play a pivotal role in deciding the contest.
“If you look at Auburn—which I have all morning and afternoon yesterday—they have all their starters, all of their best players on special teams,” Smart said. “It’s going to be a competitive war on special teams because they have really good special teams players.”
Georgia punter Jake Camarda wins SEC Special Teams Player of the Week
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