HATS OFF TO PETER MORTELL! That was as fine a display of collegiate punting as I've ever seen and Pete definitely deserved his second Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week award in a row.
Minnesota redshirt sophomore punter Peter Mortell was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance against Penn State. Mortell punted four times – all in the second half – against the Nittany Lions and continually flipped field position as Minnesota won 24-10. He punted four times and averaged 46.0 yards.Mortell, who also had a career-long 62-yard punt against Penn State, had punts downed at the 1 and 2-yard line. The one punt that was returned by Penn State went for two yards before Minnesota stopped them at the 12-yard line.
Apologies for everyone who heard this news already. I really wanted to drop this on Monday night but I didn't have time to complete the GIF's. You may be asking yourself, "Wait, GIF's? As in GIF's of punting?" You're damn skippy!
First was the glorious wedge shot...
But Pete wasn't done with his clinic yet. He also decided to spin a booming 7 iron...
I'm glad to see that the U invested in some ProV1X balls, because an artist like Pete can make those things sing.
Ok, did I kill the golf angles off yet? I probably killed the golf angles off. Getting serious for a second, I don't think I can overstate just how impressive a performance that was. Mortell is really helping the Gophers out this season as his solid play at the punter position is flipping field position. That's a great form of defense on it's own, especially when you consider the time of possession holes the Gophers are placing teams in. Forcing teams into longer drives (which will consume more clock assuming the D isn't giving up big plays) is exactly what the coaching staff wants.
It's not just Peter who deserves credit for plays like the ones above however. His coverage team has been doing an excellent job all season. While the whole unit deserves kudos, I'm going to single out long snapper Jake Filkins. Because when was the last time you saw a long snapper make this play (keep an eye on #48)?
Best of all, this POTW honor is a big one in the history of the Gopher football program:
Mortell is the first Gopher to ever repeat as a Big Ten Player of the Week and he is the first player from Minnesota to be honored by the conference twice in one season since Marion Barber III in 2004 (Barber was Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 20 and Oct. 23).Mortell is also the sixth Gopher to be recognized by the Big Ten this year, which is the most in school history. Minnesota has five players honored in 2009 and 1999.
Great stuff all around!
More from The Daily Gopher:
- Minnesota Football: ESPN Announcers Read TDG - Golden-I References Abound!
- Top [redacted] Things Heard on a Gopher Football Saturday
- Minnesota Football: Gophers Ranked 25th In Latest Coaches Poll
- Minnesota Football: Gophers Defeat Penn State HIGHLIGHTS!
- Minnesota Football: Gophers Dominate Penn State, Earning 8th Win of the Season