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  1. #1

    Default Gophers Led Nation in Punt Return Average

    per the U:

    Minnesota ended the 2018 season ranked No. 1 in the nation in punt return average at 22.25 yards. In addition, the Gophers finished second nationally in punt return defense and eighth in net punting.

    Demetrius Douglas returned seven punts for 113 yards, which included a game-changing 69-yard touchdown at Wisconsin. Antoine Winfield Jr., returned three punts for 110 yards and the first punt return of his career was a 76-yard touchdown against New Mexico State.

    The Gophers allowed 1.11 yards per return on nine opponent punt returns this season to finish second in the nation in punt return defense. Minnesota allowed 13 punt return yards to New Mexico State in the first game of the season, but then held their opponents to negative-3 punt return yards for the final 12 games.

    Minnesota also ended the year ranked No. 8 in the nation in net punting at 41.04 yards. The Gophers were one eight teams in the nation to not give the other team a touchback off a punt. Minnesota also blocked two punts this season, as Sam Renner and Justus Harris got their hands on opposing punts.

    Jacob Herbers served as Minnesota's punter in 2018, after seeing action primarily as a holder in 2016 and 2017. He punted 51 times last season, which was the fewest for the Gophers in a season since they punted 38 times in 2005. Herbers averaged 41.24 yards per punt, which was the 13th best season in school history.

    Go Gophers!!

  2. #2


  3. #3
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    Really something to hang our hat on, after all we are talking about 12 whole punt returns.

  4. #4


    We must not be super young on punt return team.

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  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by 1967 2.0 View Post
    Really something to hang our hat on, after all we are talking about 12 whole punt returns.
    We fair catch or allow all the others to roll dead. Teams are in shock when we actually return one.

  6. #6


    It’s not sexy, and there are other stats I’d rather lead the country wins. But if you’re playing good fundamental football and not turning the ball over, net yards gained in the punting game can be valuable in close games and is often overlooked.

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