Punter Wilson Berry has struggled to succeed Max Duffy and likely will not start against South Carolina Saturday night. (Larry Vaught Photo)
Former Kentucky All-American punter Max Duffy has a slightly different perspective on UK’s 3-0 start from some others.
“We have talked about on our show (Pin It Deep podcast) that in previous years we probably made enough mistakes to lose (to Missouri and Chattanooga). To manage to escape with wins with the mistakes we made in those games is a real positive to me,” Duffy said on WPBK-FM Thursday.
“We have really tried to beat ourselves in a couple of games, something that coach (Mark) Stoops hates. It’s impressive we were able to win but we do need to clean up things.”
Kentucky plays at South Carolina Saturday night — its first SEC road game this season. Duffy says not to worry about the players dwelling on last week’s 28-23 comeback win against Chattanooga.
“They are so focused on this week. They have probably already forgotten last week. You have to have a short-term memory,” he said. “When you are playing you get a general sense of if you think you deserved to win or just got lucky. We deserved to win those games. I am really happy with how everything is going.”
Punter Wilson Berry, another Aussie, has struggled trying to succeed Duffy. He was replaced last week by Colin Goodfellow, who averaged 50.5 yards per punt on four kicks against Chattanooga with a long of 59.
Goodfellow punted two games in 2020 when Duffy was out due to COVID protocols. He averaged 47.7 yards on 10 punts against Alabama and Vanderbilt.
Berry averaged only 37 yards per punt on his four tries the first two games with a long of 39. However, Stoops says he has been bothered by a back injury.
“I have had lots of conversations with Wilson over the past three or four weeks,” Duffy said. “It will be tough to start Wilson (at South Carolina) with the performance he has had. Colin cashed in on his chance and had a decent week (he did have two touchbacks that hurt his net average).
‘Kentucky’s style and scheme fits Wilson but Colin has stepped up. He also took advantage of opportunities last year when I was out. It’s hard to knock a guy who keeps stepping up like Colin has.
“I think the back has to be a factor with Wilson and I don’t know the prognosis. It also takes a little while just to settle in. I was not perfect my first year. It just takes getting used to.”