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P B.J. Sander (official thread)

He's doing better than I thought he would (BJ Shanker was his nick before this year... I'm proud to report that he is close to dropping that nick... joke).

He is improving, and when he does get a hold of one (which is the norm) he gets a lot of yards, some of which are from short punts that roll, however yards are yards, and he is getting the job done... with that said I am still concerned when he punts due to the shanks, he is however getting the ball off earlier than in previous years, so the prob. of a block is lower... and he is/has been focusing on that from what I've read, so that is also good... who will punt next year is a bit of a concern, however I'll wait till next year to worry about that :cool:

BJ stepped up and a concern of the special teams in preseason, is now not such a concern!!!
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He was excellent against Northwestern (several kicks with 5+ seconds hang time) and I don't recall him shanking a single punt yet. It's evident that he's worked hard to improve. If he keeps punting like he has been, he could turn out nearly as good as Groom was. Here's his stats so far:

# of punts: 29
Average: 42.8 ypk
Longest: 68 yards
Touchbacks: 3
Fair Catches: 8
Inside the 20: 13

Note that nearly half his punts were downed inside the 20. That's more impressive than any other statistic.
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The only "bad" punt I remember from Sander this year was against SDSU late in the game. We were fairly deep in our own territory and he got one off that was under 30 yards at a real bad time. Other than that, I think's he done real well and seems to be getting the ball inside the 20 much more than Groom did. A lot of Andy's punts seemed to make it to the endzone where BJ's tend to die.
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He also shanked one vs. NCSU.

Overall, especially the last couple of games, I have been pleased with his kicks.

His reputation was not only as a shanker, but as a shanker who picked the worst time to shank one.

The one at SDSU was a case in point. He has definitely improved.
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Punter B.J. Sander (official thread)

Congrats to B.J. Sander on being selected as the Big Ten Special Team Player on the Week. Who'd a thunk it prior to the season? Way to go B.J.!
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Sir Shanksalot is probably playing better than Groom last year, if that's possible. At the very least, there's not a dropoff.

Punt coverage has gotten a lot better too. Big props to the OSU gunners, usually Steve Moore and Tyler Everett. If you can believe it, only 17 of BJ's 52 punts were even returned (less than a third). Avg punt 43.44 yards, average net 41.31. That's unbelievable. 24 inside the 20, only 5 touchbacks.
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Sir Shanksalot is probably playing better than Groom last year, if that's possible. At the very least, there's not a dropoff.

I believe Groom is playing better. Their punting average may be similar, but I'm almost positive the net punt for Sander is better with his high kicks. He also pins more teams inside the 20 did Groom did.
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coxew: I think you meant to say that Sander is playing better...

I would agree that our punting game has not only remained at the same level as last year's, but has actually improved. CleveBucks brought out a good point that our coverage is noticeably better this year, and we're not not giving up a lot of big returns. Plus Sander's hang time on some of his punts have been unreal. I can't remember which game it was, but one had a 5.7 second hang time...I've never seen that, even in the pros.
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