It sure seems silly, in retrospect, how much was written (especially here) about Maryland kicker Obi Egekeze’s early struggles.
He’s made a career-high nine straight field goals since missing his first five, giving him a decent-looking 9-for-14 total. He made 10 of his first 14 attempts a year ago, so it’s not like he’s far off his 2007 pace.
But the senior isn’t the only specialist to show some improvement. Punter Travis Baltz has quietly been one of Maryland’s steadiest players this season.
The sophomore is averaging 41.7 yards a punt and a net of 38.1 yards in 30 attempts so far. Through that many tries last year, Baltz was at 40.4 yards average and a net of 35.7 yards; for the entire 2007 season, the numbers were 40.9 average and 34.8 net.
The latter, in particular, is a substantial improvement and shows the sort of growth Maryland figured it would get as Baltz spent some more time in the program.
Perhaps just as importantly, Baltz reached the 30-punt mark early in the fourth quarter of Maryland’s sixth game. It took more than a full game extra to get there this season.