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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Football

Cougar takes home weekly conference honor


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Freshman punter Dane Roy set a career-high in both punt distance and quantity of punts Saturday. | Courtesy of UH Football

Another football player is taking home some hardware as the American Athletic Conference announced Monday that the Special Teams Player of the Week is a Cougar for the second time this season.

Freshman punter Dane Roy dazzled fans Saturday afternoon as he continually boomed punts all over the field. Ideally, the Cougars would have liked to punt less, but Roy played a tremendous role in forcing Tulane to have only long fields to work with.

Roy punted a career-high 11 times in the victory and averaged 44.2 yards per kick. The freshman also tallied a career-high in distance with a 53 yard punt against Tulane.

“(Roy) was pivotal. Eleven punts with a 44-yard average and six inside the 20-yard line,” said head coach Tom Herman. “When you’re not playing great offense, but playing good defense, the key is to continue to flip the field.”

The Australian native’s first punt of the game following a Cougar three-and-out ended up giving the team a momentous start. Roy skied a punt inside the five-yard line that forced the Tulane returner into making a bad decision, muffing the return.

Sophomore cornerback Jeremy Winchester quickly collected the loose ball in the end zone to give the Cougars an early 7-0 lead.

“It’s always going to be a battle for field position. Our game plan revolves around it,” Winchester said. “For us to be able to take advantage of pinning them inside the 10-yard line twice was great for us.”

Roy entered the scene over the offseason when he chose to leave his native Australia to come punt for the Cougars. In Australia, the 27-year-old Roy notably sold ice cream for a living.

The honor marks the second time this season a Cougar has been named conference’s Special Teams Player of the Week with the first being senior cornerback Brandon Wilson on Sept. 5.

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