Florida boots the punter

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A week after changing place-kickers, No. 22 Florida is switching punters.

And it means benching a 2012 finalist for the Ray Guy Award.

Coach Will Muschamp announced he’s replacing punter Kyle Christy, a preseason All-American, with freshman Johnny Townsend.

Christy has punted 21 times for a 39.6-yard average, which ranks 13th in the Southeastern Conference. Christy set a school record last season by averaging 45.8 yards a punt.

Muschamp said, “We need to make a change there. We’ve been very inconsistent punting the ball.”

Last week, Muschamp turned field-goal duties over to junior walk-on Francisco Velez, who jumped highly touted freshman Austin Hardin and senior Brad Phillips. Velez made both attempts in last Saturday’s 17-6 loss at LSU.

Florida plays Saturday at No. 14 Missouri.

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