Matt Araiza at work in San Diego State’s 23-21 win over Nevada. Photo credit: Derrick Tuskan, via goaztecs.com

San Diego State’s Matt Araiza has been named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate punter.
 
Araiza is one of three finalists, joining Adam Korsak of Rutgers and Jordan Stout of Penn State.
 
The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the virtual Home Depot College Football Awards, to be broadcast on ESPN.

The junior is the first Aztec finalist for a major award since Rashaad Penny of the Seattle Seahawks was in the running for Walter Camp Player of the Year in 2017.
 
The Rancho Bernardo High alum has racked up several honors this season, including being named to three midseason All-America first teams – the Associated Press, ESPN and the Sporting News.

He also has been named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week four times.

Araiza is one of only four players in the country who handles all three kicking duties. He has punted 67 times for 3,472 yards, a 51.8 average, with 34 inside the 20-yard line and a long of 86 yards.

He also has made all 36 of his PATs, and 13 field goals, including three 50-yarders, while kicking off 57 times for 3,702 yards and a 64.95 average.
 
Araiza already owns the NCAA FBS single-season record for the most 50-yard punts (36) and 60-yard punts (17). He remains on pace to break the record for highest punt average, 50.98, set by Braden Mann of Texas A&M in 2018.

He leads all FBS players in punt average, total punt yards (3,472) and punt yards per game (315.64), and is tied for first in punts inside the 20-yard line (34) and PAT percentage (100%).

Araiza also has six punts of at least 70 yards, the most in the country and three times as many as the next collegiate punters.
 

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