AUGUSTA, Ga. — WKU Football’s Alex Rinella was rewarded for a career punting
performance, as the redshirt junior earned Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week honors,
it was announced Wednesday.
In the Hilltoppers’ Friday night game at Middle Tennessee on Nov. 2, Rinella booted
seven punts for a career-high 340 yards. He pinned four punts inside the 20 yard
line and had four punts of 57-plus yards on the evening.
His 48.6-yard gross average was a career-high, and with zero return yards allowed
and only one kick into the end zone for a touchback, so was his 45.7-yard net
average. For the season, Rinella has allowed only 4-of-51 punts to be returned for a
total of 44 yards.
“An area of growth that we saw was in our punting, which was really a positive. Alex
Rinella had a monster of a game,” head coach Mike Sanford said during his Monday
press conference. “He did flip the field quite a bit and in special teams he helped
us win the hidden yardage total.”
After serving as WKU’s kickoff specialist through his first two years on The Hill,
Rinella’s duties have extended to full-time punting and some placekicking
opportunities in the second half of the season. He is only 1-of-4 players in the
country to handle all three kicking duties for his team.
Following Yannis Routsas of UTSA in Week 8 and Jack Fox of Rice in Week 9, Rinella
is the third-consecutive Conference USA punter to claim the weekly award.
The Hilltoppers travel to Boca Raton this Saturday, Nov. 10 to take on Florida
Atlantic (4-5, 2-3 C-USA). Kick off for the league matchup at FAU Stadium is set for
4 p.m. CT and will be streamed on Stadium including Facebook Live.