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UK’s Phillips Says There’s Nothing Illegal About UF’s Punt Block Tactics; Head Of Officials Agrees

Earlier this week, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips made the following comment about Florida’s penchant for blocking punts:

“We’ve got receivers and DBs on our punt team to try and get that speed on the field.  They’ve got big guys pulling this guy that way, and this guy that way and a little fast guy with world-class speed comes up the middle to block it.”

By the time Phillips’ comments hit the internet, he was accusing Florida of doing something illegal.  Phillips said during yesterday’s teleconference that he’d done no such thing:

“Nothing illegal with that.  Nothing.  They do a great job and within the rules.  Everybody does it.  We try to do it also, so it’s nothing illegal.  I wasn’t saying that it’s anything illegal.  I was saying that do a great job of it.”

He stopped short of saying: “Please don’t whip the heck out of my team because I made you mad, Will Muschamp.  Please.” 

But here’s the thing, Phillips did seem to be suggesting in his earlier comments that UF uses a technique officials refer to as a “pull and shoot.”  And a pull and shoot maneuver is indeed illegal.

But SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw told The Florida Times-Union that he saw nothing wrong with Florida’s punt block tactics during the Gators’ game with Tennessee last week (in which UF did block a punt):

“We reviewed all of them and there’s nothing on any of those plays that rises to the level of a pull and shoot.  There’s always going to be hand-grabbing and shoving but nothing to the level of a pull and shoot.”

Punt blocks and inflammatory comments aside, Phillips had better start winning some games at UK or it’s his head coaching career that might be pulled and shot.



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