Air Force punter Brandon Geyer had no problem booting the ball for distance last season. But the trajectory of his punts often was too flat.
So over the summer, Geyer worked to improve the hang time of his punts, concentrating on coming “up through the ball more,” he said, and extending his leg higher, “instead of just trying to drive the ball.”
This season, his first as a starter, the senior is launching punts both long and high — perhaps never better than Saturday against Army. He averaged 48.2 yards on six punts, including a career-long blast of 71 yards, and Monday was named the Mountain West Conference special teams player of the week.
More impressive than Geyer’s yards per punt was his net punt average, which takes into account returns and touchbacks. That number was 46.8, as none of his punts went into the end zone for touchbacks, three resulted in fair catches and just two were returned — for a total of 8 yards.
Forcing fair catches and limiting opponents’ return yards often is a credit to superior hang time, which allows players on the punting team to get down field and swarm returners.
Geyer ranks third in the league and 24th in the country with 43.1 yards per punt. Air Force is 16th in the nation in net punting (38.6).
“I think any time you look and your net punt is over 38, that’s pretty good,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said.