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The Cardinal Countdown: 49 Days Until Kickoff

Virginia v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

2021 Season Recap: About three years ago I was screaming from the top of ‘Casa de la Strong’ about how we should be appreciative of the ‘Regulators’ who we had on campus, because year over year they were putting up numbers that were rivaling that of the best to ever do it in Red and Black. Creque was sniffin’ ‘Art-O-Matic’ numbers, Mason King was looking for space on the book shelf for the Ray Guy trophy, and my man Mitch Hall was just shootin’ the ball through his legs like it should be a registered weapon . I say all that to say this…the production from the specialist wasn’t great last year, but we have been lulled into a false sense of security over the last decade and reality stings a bit. Vassett shocked the world in Game 1 against Ole’ Miss as the only Australian punter in history to not punt like…well, an Australian. No side steps, no walk it up the field and read the defense, just a boring old American style punt. He did fine…and his average was in line mostly with years past, but the disappointment was hard to shake. Finishing the year around 41yd/p only put him Top 70 nationally but it was some of the situational punting (i.e. inside the 20, coffin corners, low hang time, etc) that frustrated fans. It if sounds like I’m being hard on Vassett, I apologize. I’ve been through 20 straight days of offensive lineman post and just looking to vent some, on the other hand he’s like 28 years old, he can take some heat.

2022 Season Outlook: The flip side of the coin for Vassett is that I would never give the guy any grief if I thought he was at his max. But I saw the offseason videos from Vassett, the videos from his camps ‘down under’, and some of the praise he was receiving from some guys I respect in the punting world (yeah, shocker, I know guys in the punting world…and I still found a way to get married and have kids). I’m sure there was some adjustment last year and at times he looked solid and played well. We need that this year. Actually in some of the close losses Vassett’s play kept them in the game, including 3/4 inside the 20 against Wake Forest, a 46yd average against UVA, and a 47yd average and one inside the 20 against Clemson. He also had zero touchbacks in those three contests. I have no doubt Vassett is the man moving forward, just need to see him step up in year two.

Sweet Tweet:

Only thing Santa loves more than cookies and milk is “old man winter”, and rumor is Vassett and old man winter have never been seen in the same room before. So not only can the Sophomore go buy some beer frosty sodas, but he can also keep them cool for you free of charge. My man.