Senior punter Max Duffy and senior offensive tackle Landon Young have been named to the ESPN All-Bowl Team for their performances in the 23-21 win over No. 23 NC State in the Gator Bowl. Both had previously been named to the AP All-Bowl Team as well.
Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, punted five times in the win, and NC State’s average starting yard line was its own 16. One of those punts saw Duffy avoid disaster after an NC State player shot a gap and was going to block the punt. But at the last moment, Duffy held on to the ball as the player dove past him before getting off a 42-yard punt to the NC State 19.
In the fourth quarter, punting each time under the pressure of a one-score game, Duffy also placed a punt that was downed at the NC State 5-yard line, got another to the NC State 13-yard line, and had a 51-yard kick that could only be returned one yard.
Young, hailing from of Lexington, Kentucky, graded at 92% with 25 blocks at the point of attack, six knockdown blocks, allowed no quarterback sacks or pressures, and had no missed assignments or penalties.
With Kentucky clinging to a 16-14 lead with three minutes remaining in the game, Young’s block opened a gaping hole for Chris Rodriguez’ 26-yard game-clinching touchdown run. The Wildcats finished with 288 rushing yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry (without three kneel-downs at the end of the game, totals were 291 yards and 6.6 per attempt).
Both Duffy and Young have signed with agents as they’re now off to the NFL looking to fulfill their dreams of playing on Sundays.