Nov. 14, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Punter Mike Sadler has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday.
Sadler averaged a season-best 46.2 yards per punt (six punts for 277 yards), including three inside the opponent's 20, in Michigan State's 37-21 victory at Iowa, as the Spartans recorded their first win in Iowa City since 1989, ending a seven-game losing streak in Kinnick Stadium.
"In games against talented, well coached teams like Iowa, field position is often the difference between winning and losing," said linebackers/special teams coach Mike Tressel. "Mike understood that going into the game Saturday and he responded. Not only did he average over 46 yards per punt, but for the second week in a row he made a habit of pinning the opponent inside their own 20-yard line. You can see his confidence growing each week. The punt is the most important play in football, and Mike has really stepped up his game."
Sadler has placed 17 of his 46 punts (37 percent) inside the 20 this season; the 17 punts inside the 20 rank second in the Big Ten and tied for 17th most in the FBS. In addition, he has pinned nine punts inside the 10, which ranks seventh in the nation.
This marks the third weekly Big Ten honor for Sadler this season. He was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Minnesota game and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for his role in the win over Michigan.
For the season, Sadler is averaging 39.7 yards per punt (46 punts for 1,826 yards). He is one of 15 starting freshman (true and redshirt) punters in the FBS.
No. 12 Michigan State returns to action Saturday, Nov. 19 to face Indiana on Senior Day at Spartan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.