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Punting: A Friedgen Tradition

Eric posted yesterday evening about Travis Baltz being named the ACC co-special teams player of the week. Baltz's performance so far this season is an overlooked but encouraging development for Maryland. He currently ranks 13th in the country with 44.25 yards per punt. He's just the third punter in Coach Ralph Friedgen's eight-year tenure in College Park and, after a decent-but-not-great performance last season, appears ready to carry on a proud tradition.

Year....Punter........................Avg......Nat'l Rank
2008....Travis Baltz...............44.25....13th
2007....Travis Baltz...............40.91....58th
2006....Adam Podlesh...........42.86....22nd
2005....Adam Podlesh...........43.59....13th
2004....Adam Podlesh...........43.75....10th
2003....Adam Podlesh...........42.28....36th
2002....Brooks Barnard.........43.15....12th
2001....Brooks Barnard.........44.46....7th

Why devote such attention to punting, the ultimate offensive concession? Because when you have a bend-but-try-not-to-break defense and an opportunistic-but-not-dominant offense -- as Friedgen's teams often have had -- games are decided on turnovers and field position. Consistent punting forces an opponent to sustain long drives in order to score points -- and ultimately can lead to shorter fields for its own offense. Laugh if you want, but for eight years, Maryland has benefitted from exceptional punting. Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it's gone.


By Matthew Rennie  |  September 30, 2008; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

No doubt. Brooks Bernard was the player of the game in multiple games at the beginning of 2001 as the Terps learned Fridges new offense. No Bernard no orange bowl.

Posted by: Lee | September 30, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Prediction:

Virginia 49 Maryland 2

Maryland will finish 4-8

I am glad Maryland is no longer recruiting Tavon Austin or Darrius-Heyward Bey.

I predict Isaac Holmes, Travis Hawkins, and Da'Rel Scott will sign with Florida.

Go Duke!

Posted by: Gary | September 30, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Ditto Lee's comment. It's always been nice to have a guy who can boom one when necessary and pin 'em back near the end zone when we need to. I'm glad that Fridge has this as a point of emphasis.

Posted by: Lindemann | September 30, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I got all nostalgic and looked back to see the game notes from the UNC game where I was all fired up to give Bernard the game ball. His performance was even better than I remember.

http://umterps.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/090101aaa.html

First off 8 punts for an average of 50.4 is pretty sick. But then when you look at the play by play his first one he tried to angle down I assume and was only for 27 yards downed at the 23. So the next 7 were for 54 yards a pop and they were downed at the 1, 9, 11, 9, 10, 15, 11...

THAT'S GOOD PUNTING!

Posted by: Lee | September 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

#2, that's funny.

Posted by: Island 1 | September 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

gary ,your such a jerk... How will Da'Rel Scott sign with Florida?

Posted by: OHNO | September 30, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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