One of the strangest plays that took place in Kansas State’s season opener was the fourth-quarter punt that Massachusetts blocked and ran in for a touchdown.
The play was unusual because for the first time all night K-State punter Ryan Doerr opted to angle his kick to the right, rugby style, rather than just boot the ball downfield.
You’ve probably seen that strategy before, but on this occasion trying to punt to the right was a big mistake. All the UMass pressure was coming from the right, and in real time the punt was so awkward that it looked like Doerr was aiming for Jeremy Horne, the Minutemen defender who blocked the kick.
The gaffe made some onlookers laugh and others cringe.
When asked about the play, however, Doerr said he simply made a bad decision.
“I wasn’t really aware of my surroundings,” he said. “I’ll take the blame on that one.”
Doerr went on to say that a rugby-style punt should work best out of that formation, but only if executed properly.
“They had a lot of pressure coming from the outside last week,” he said. “They were coming outside in. We decided we wanted to try to get out of the pocket, try a rugby (kick) and slow down some of the outside pressure. We kinda missed a couple assignments. The guy came straight through and got it.
“… We’ll definitely execute better next time.”