On The Importance Of Zach Sinor

first_imgPunters, man. You feel sort of bad for them. They are the unpaid extras of the movie so often. Except that this year, Oklahoma State’s punter Zach Sinor has stolen the show on multiple occasions. Mike Gundy gave him the equivalent of a flying chest bump on Saturday after the Iowa State game.“[Punter Zach Sinor] was excellent, our kick coverage was excellent,” said Gundy. “It was a good battle with special teams on both teams. He’s been super for us. One thing you don’t see in the statistics is that there have been a few snaps that haven’t been great, and he’s gone up and gotten the ball or scooped the ball.“His target punting was excellent like always. The last one, I think they caught it on the five. The one before that landed on the three and it needs to land around the seven. But still there was hangtime on it, and the coverage was poor. We didn’t do a good job of getting down there, flipping our head and finding the ball. That will be something we improve on in the open week. We needed to do a better job on that punt.”Gundy is right on all accounts. Sinor downed six punts inside Iowa State’s 20 on Saturday. Six! Iowa State’s average starting field position on nine punts from Sinor was its own 17-yard line.According to the excellent BCF Toys, an average college offense can expect from its own 17-yard-line is 1.52 points per drive. That means Sinor essentially held an average college offense to 14 points (9 x 1.52) on his nine punts. In the second half, ISU’s average starting field position on punts was its own 13. From there, it would have been expected to score seven points which is exactly what it scored. So what if Sinor is marginally worse? What if his punt that was downed on the six-yard-line rolls into the end zone for a touchback? What if he’s, say, 15 percent worse on his placement and distance and ISU had started at its own 20 instead of its own 17. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?It’s not in the short term. ISU would have been expected to score a little over a point more overall if Sinor would have been three yards worse. If ISU’s average starting spot had been on the 25 instead of the 17, it would have been expected to score three additional points. OSU probably still wins.But over the course of the year, these things add up. There’s a reason teams score more when they’re closer to the other team’s end zone, and Sinor is trying to mitigate that (and doing so quite successfully). For a team that plays a lot of close games, every point counts, especially when it comes to small sample sizes.OSU is currently No. 19 in the country in net punt return yards allowed at 2.6 per punt which is wildly impressive. Gundy has always been huge (yuuuuge) on special teams, and it has served him well. Maybe never more so than this year.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

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