Cooke becomes valuable weapon for Bulldogs as punter

Logan Cooke
Staff Writer

Logan Cooke has enjoyed being a punter that the Mississippi State Bulldogs can count on to put opposing offenses in bad positions on the football field.

He said it takes more than just his kicks to cause those situations for other teams.

“Having 60 and mid 50 and upper 50-yard punts are big factor, but also to pin them on the 1 or inside the 5,” Cooke said. “Chris Rayford and Hunter Bradley helped a lot with that. Chris just has a feel for where the ball is going to be. He gets under it so many times. Those two guys help so much on those pooch punts.”

With the help of Rayford and Bradley, Cooke has definitely been a weapon for the Bulldogs this season as a punter.

MSU junior defensive lineman Tre Brown said a good special teams unit doing its job can definitely be an advantage and something a defense can feed from.

“I always see Chris Rayford down at the 1,” Brown said. “It gives us a better chance of getting a safety when we pin them back deep. It gets the crowd in it with the student section behind (opponents).”

Cooke has punted 48 times for MSU this season for a 42.8-yard average with a long kick of 67 yards. He’s had 19 attempts downed inside the 20-yard-line and has had punts of 50 yards or more 13 times.

This has been a better season for the senior from Darbin in terms of average and said the defense has done a good job of taking advantage of a well-placed punt.

“We’ve actually had a few bad luck plays in the two years I’ve been here,” Cooke said. “A few times we pin (opponents) on the 1 and we’d give up a 40- or 50-yard play right after that, so this year we had a safety and a couple of backed up punts that we forced the other team to have. It’s been a big factor.”

Cooke missed the last three regular season games of his junior season for the Bulldogs because of a knee injury.

One of the factors he points to for having success this season is being healthy.

“Being healthy and having that aggressive, mature mindset on the field rather than just going out there playing and attempt to be a big factor in the game has helped a lot,” Cooke said. “There are always going to be those few plays you wish you had back, but I think I had a solid year, especially starting off.”

Cooke was also good in kick offs for MSU as 41 of his 68 attempts were touchbacks.

The Bulldogs are preparing to play in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, on December 30 and Cooke likes being a part of the bowl tradition in Starkville.

“Getting to finish what (former coach Dan Mullen) started and seniors getting to go to a bowl all four years here is awesome,” Cooke said.