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Buffalo Bills rookie punter Matt Araiza impressed with his first opportunity to be on the field in an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
The former San Diego State standout booted an 82-yard punt into the back of the end zone against the Colts. The play was called a touchback but the punter still managed to net an incredible 62 yards from a punt from the Bills’ 18-yard line.
“It was exciting. Definitely a new feeling being out there. The stadium is a lot bigger than the one I used to play in. Just grateful things went well and what an awesome way to end the first game,” he told reporters afterward.
Araiza also held the ball for kicker Tyler Bass to put the game-winning field goal through the uprights. Buffalo won 27-24.
“That was awesome,” Araiza added. “The first game holding, the game winner. Tyler is an awesome kicker, so I think he makes all of us look good. It’s awesome to be holding for such a good kicker.”
Araiza is trying to secure the punting job against veteran Matt Haack. Both players had one punt each during the game. Haack had a 38-yard punt during his lone appearance.
The Bills selected Araiza in the sixth round of the draft. He was an All-American and the Ray Guy Award winner in 2021. The Ray Guy Award is given to the nation’s most outstanding punter.
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