Florida State’s special teams have left much to be desired for a while now, but the position of punt returner has been more than admirably filled by D.J. Matthews, and the ACC has taken notice.
Matthews winning the ACC Specialist of the Week Award should be no surprise to FSU fans, after he registered a 74-yard punt-return TD against Miami on Saturday. Moreover, his 35.3 yards-per-game-punt-return average is the best of any FBS specoialist, as is his 212 total punt-return yardage.
Matthews has shown that tricky “it” factor, with regard to returning punts, understanding the approaching coverage, while also comprehending his position on the field. And this is really tough to overstate, as it’s such a difficult thing to do. Looking into the sky to track a ball, while a defense sprints toward you with bad intentions, is incredibly challenging. Yet Matthews has displayed the intrepid fearlessness requisite to the position.
Matthews’ punt-return TD against Miami was the first for a Seminole since Bobo Wilson housed an 89-yard punt-return score against Charleston Southern in 2016.