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2022 SOTU awards: Play of the year, Kinchens’ 99-yard Pick-Six

Kamren Kinchens can add another award to his theoretical trophy case: the SOTU Play of the Year for his 99-yard pick-six against Georgia Tech.

NCAA Football: Miami at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In his second season with the Miami Hurricanes, sophomore safety Kamren Kinchens has been awarded for his great play during the season as an All-American by multiple publications.

He can also add the SOTU Play of the Year to his list of accomplishments. Kinchens finished the season with 59 total tackles, six interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. None of those plays were as big as his 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against Georgia Tech.

Leading 28-7 against the Yellow Jackets, Kinchens had already picked off two passes in the game. But with two minutes and 56 seconds remaining, Zach Gibson and the Georgia Tech offense had the ball at the Hurricanes’ 12-yard line.

Gibson attempted to throw a post-route into the end zone where Kinchens undercut the pass at the one-yard line for his third interception of the game and sixth of the season. Even the announcers knew as soon as he caught the ball that there was a lot of space in front of him.

After about 40 yards, the quarterback and running back were both close to Kinchens, but he was able to easily outrun them thanks to Akheem Mesidor getting in their way.

The long touchdown return was a great exclamation point in one of the best wins of the 2022 season and helped vault Kinchens into the national discussion as one of the best defensive backs in the country.

His third interception of the game also put him in elite company for Hurricanes’ defensive backs. The last Miami safety to intercept three passes in a game was Kenny Phillips in 2006. His six interceptions are the most in a season for the program since Sean Taylor had 10 in 2003.