UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — It’s been a tale of two units for Penn State special teams. James Franklin has expressed frustration with the field goal unit and the kickoff team, but punter Barney Amor has been one of the best specialists in the country.
Amore has played 50% of his punts inside the 10 yard line, one of which led to a safety against Ohio. he is second in the Big Ten and 10th in the nation averaging 46 yards per kick. He came to the program as a run on and then earned himself a scholarship.
“We’ve been doing great on punts, and I think we’ve been doing great all over the board to be honest with you. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t improve,” said Amor. “That’s our goal every single week. Our goal every single week is to go 1-0 and improve from what we did the week before regardless of how the outcome is. So again, every single week we’re all striving to get better. Not just me, not just the coaches, not just the players. We’re all striving to be better in each and every way.”
Amor is the latest in the Penn State factory that produces elite punters. The two men that preceded him, Blake Gilikin and Jordan Stout are both in the NFL and helped Penn State win the field position battle thanks to their strong legs.
“We’re talking about veteran guys that have been able to be consistent and that’s the key for all these guys. But obviously it has a factor in field position,” said Franklin. “We’ve done a really good job in field position and then not only being able to punt for average or net, but also to be able to pin people deep inside the 10 yard line is obviously significant.”
Of the nine punts Amor pinned inside the 10, opponents have scored just three points.