By Lauren Fender
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Early in the third quarter with Baylor leading Texas 7-0 and facing another fourth and long, punter Spencer Roth took the field for another routine punt until he saw a change in the defense.
“I didn’t even think about faking it running out there,” Spencer Roth said. “I just took off. It was just an instant decision.”
Roth’s last minute decision to fake the punt led to a gain of 19 yards giving the Bears a first down, which led to touchdown three plays later. In a post-game interview, head coach Briles praised Roth for the quick decision-making.
“It was a situation where we have a guy who was an All-American last year and we have a lot of confidence in him,” Briles said. “If he feels like he can do something, that light is not red, it's green. I thought it changed everything.”
Roth, the punter for the most productive offense in the country over the past three years, was not well known until that day, but the Bears have relied on him for much longer.
“Spencer has been a four-year starter for us, and a huge part of our success is being good and solid on special teams,” assistant coach Jeff Lebby said. “He adds a huge dimension by being able to be dominant. He has done a great job and he will continue to do it for us.”
Teammate and long-snapper, Jimmy Landes agrees with Roth’s unique ability to add value to the Baylor football team.
“I love snapping to him because he is a huge target at 6’4” or 6’5”,”Landes said. “He works hard and he can really punt the ball. He is a goofball off the field but very serious on the field.”
Roth takes his job very seriously with aspirations of taking his skills to the next level to compete in the NFL next year.
“I know I am going to go because that is my mentality,” Roth said. “I know I am going to be the best.”
For Spencer he knows it is all about winning the mental battle.
“It is more of just a mind game than anything else because I am just punting a ball, so it’s basically all mental,” Roth said. “My mind has to be good all the time.”
Roth also enjoys researching the mental side of the game off the field, through his own study of the science behind the art of punting.
“I am into science a lot,” Roth said. “I love looking at quantum physics and stuff. At home and even in class all I want to look up is science stuff because it is all about the mental side.”
Once in the NFL, Roth plans to own a home on Lake Austin, where he can indulge in his love for water sports and for painting.
“I love to play guitar and paint,” Roth said. “I have a dirt bike I like to ride and used to ride my wakeboard a lot.”
Coach Lebby is confident that Roth has a bright future ahead of him.
“I want him to graduate first, and then I want him to have a long career in the NFL,” Lebby said. “He has got an uncommon leg and he is a solid kid, so he will have every opportunity in the world to do it.”