Rodrigo Blankenship’s fame lives on, and for more than the trademark goggles.
After going 4-4 on field goals, including the 25-yard boot against Kentucky to claim a 27-24 victory, Blankenship shares SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors with Alabama punter J.K. Scott. The Alabama All-SEC punter averaged 51.6 yards per punt on five attempts during their 10-0 victory over LSU.
• Set career-high going 4-for-4 on FGs
• 1st Bulldog to hit game-winner as time expired since 2009@FootballUGA's Blankenship is the STPOTW pic.twitter.com/RkHATa5pNf
— SEC (@SEC) November 7, 2016
Blankenship struggled to begin the season, sharing time with fellow redshirt sophomore William Ham. However, Blankenship took over the role permanently after Ham missed two field goals against Missouri. Since then, Blankenship has gained confidence and has converted on eight consecutive field goals, dating back to the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago.
In addition to his field goal heroics, Blankenship has improved on kickoffs as well. Against the Wildcats, the starting place-kicker landed three touchbacks while averaging 64 yards on six kickoffs.
Was it a poor move by Georgia to not give Blankenship complete control of the job at the beginning of the season? Head coach Kirby Smart may be second-guessing himself, yet he complements Blankenship’s effort.
“Maybe it was just a bad coaching decision. Maybe he should’ve been kicking the whole time,” Smart said after Georgia’s slim victory. “But, he’s a high character kid and I appreciate all he does. He never stops.”