Nov. 8, 2013
HOUSTON –Houston’s Richie Leone has been named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award for the third consecutive season, The Augusta Sports Council announced Friday morning. Leone is one of 10 semifinalists chosen from a field of 85 candidates for the award, which recognizes the most outstanding punter in college football.
The only player this season to be named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week twice, Leone carries an average of 42.9 yards per punt on 37 attempts. The senior has placed 54 percent of his punts (20-of-37) inside opponents’ 20-yard line with nine landing inside the 10-yard line. Despite pinning the majority of his punts inside the 20, Leone has just two touchbacks on the season.
The three-time Ray Guy semifinalist has eight punts over 50 yards including a season long of 61 yards while his high-hanging punts have forced opponents to call for a fair catch 17 times (45.9 percent) and have held opposing punt returners to 36 total return yards on nine attempts, a number greatly bolstered by one 41-yard return.
Leone is currently second all-time on the Houston charts with a career punting average of 43.0 yards per kick and is Houston’s kickoff specialist with 55 kickoffs including 27 touchbacks. Leone also held UH’s starting placekicking spot for the season’s first seven games, connecting on 11-of-17 field goals and all 32 extra point attempts.
Leone joins Tennessee’s Michael Palardy as the only semifinalists to handle all three kicking duties this season for their respective teams.
The Augusta Sports Council presents the Ray Guy Award, given to the collegiate punter of the year at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN in Orlando, Fla.
The Augusta Sports Council created the Ray Guy Award in 2000 to honor Thomson, Georgia native and College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ray Guy. The Ray Guy Award winner is determined by a national voting body of sports writers, college coaches, sports information directors and past Ray Guy Award winners. Among the statistics used to identify the winner is net punting average, number of times a punt is downed or kicked out of bounds inside the opponents 20-yard line, total yardag punted, average returned yardage, and percentage of punts not returned. The winner must display team leadership, self-discipline and have a positive impact on the team’s success.
Houston fans can purchase single game tickets to Houston’s two remaining home games –Nov. 23 vs. Cincinnati at Rice Stadium and Nov. 29 vs. SMU at Reliant Stadium – with prices starting at just $27.
To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center