Punting Kept Badgers in the Hole

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 09/29/2013 3:27 PM
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Football
Johnston's Punting Kept Wisconsin Offense on an Uphill Battle
By John Porentas

The man from down under got it done against the Badgers.

Cameron Johnston
Photo by Jim Davidson
Cameron Johnston

OSU freshman punter Cameron Johnston is new to the Uniited States, and he's new ot American football, but the native of Geelong, Australia played a major role in OSU's win over Wisconsin.

Johnston was called on to punt six times against the Badgers, and all six of his kicks ended up inside the 20-yard line. In fact, five of the six ended up at the 10 or inside the 10, with the sixth one having rolled dead at the 16. His efficiency as a punter kept the Badger offense in the hole all day, a fact not lost on Wisconsin Head Coach Gary Andersen.

"Their punter did a great job," said Andersen.

"He absolutely pinned us four or five times."

It was five coach, if you don't count the one at the 16-yard line as pinned. Five times the Badgers started at the 10 or inside the ten, and that made their job on offense tough.

"That's difficult. It's difficult to get out of there and it's hard to go 95 yards or 90 yards on a good defense, 96 yards on a good defense," Anderson said.

They were all effective, but none was more important than Johnston's last effort of the day.

With the Buckeyes facing a fourth and six on their own 38-yard line and with only 1:40 to play, Johnston was called up on punt to the Badgers. OSU was clinging to a slim seven point lead, and good field position would give them a chance. Instead, Johnston got off his best kick of the day, a 55 yarder, that Jared Abbrederis fielded at this own seven-yard line and returned to the 10. It left the Badgers with 90 yards to go with less than 100 ticks on the clock and no time outs. It was quite literally the final nail in their coffin.

"At the end he has to boom one and he booms one," said Andersen.

"I thought that young man did a tremendous job. He kicked the ball well and got us backed up. Their punting game very good."

Former OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel was fond of describing the punt as the most important play in football. That may still be open to debate, but there's no debatiing that Johnston's work against the Badgers was a major component in OSU's win.

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