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Grant Traylor: Williams named to Ray Guy Award list

Oct. 30, 2012 @ 11:22 PM

Marshall University freshman punter Tyler Williams hasn't been called on in many situations this football season due to the success of the Thundering Herd offense.

However, he has made the most of his opportunities.

Williams is averaging 45.97 yards on 29 punts and was named Monday as a candidate for the Ray Guy Award.

For Williams, whether he punts one time or 10 times in a game, it's all about maintaining consistency -- something he worked on extremely hard in the preseason.

"Every preparation is the same," Williams said. "I'm getting warmed up on second or third down and if it goes to fourth down, I punt and if we get a first, I'm not. Everything stays the same. I go out there and do my job and try to pin them inside the 5."

Williams is coming off a Saturday performance when he punted seven times and averaged 47 yards.

That figure included punts of 64 and 62 yards, but both went for touchbacks.

Williams said he's not as worried about yardage as he is about situations.

"I had two touchbacks on Saturday, which I wasn't happy about," Williams said. "Yeah, they were nice 60-yard punts, but that's not what I'm trying to do. I want to get a little more hang-time to allow our guys to get down there and down the ball.

"My last punt was a 40-yard punt but it had nice hang-time and it landed at the 1-yard line. I'll take a 39-yarder that had great hang-time and was downed inside the 5 rather than a 70-yarder that goes in the end zone. For punters, it's the scenario that catches you a little bit more than the statistics."

The scenarios are what have placed Williams on the Ray Guy Award watch list.

In 29 punts, Williams has had nine go for 50-plus yards and 12 land inside the 20-yard line. He also has only three touchbacks on the year.

His 45.97-per-punt average ranks ninth nationally, and the seven punts from Saturday night made him eligible for the overall punting average statistics.

Up until Saturday, he didn't have enough punt attempts to qualify in national statistics.

HIGH-SCORING AFFAIRS: In seven of Marshall's eight contests the winning team has scored 45 points or more.

That includes the Rice contest, in which both teams eclipsed the 50-point barrier.

Unfortunately for the Herd, Marshall has not won this year when it failed to score 50 points.

Marshall opponents in the last five games have scored 51, 51, 45, 24 and 54.

Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or gtraylor@herald-dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).

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