The Washington Times - October 21, 2008, 10:00AM

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.

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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.

Patrick Stevens