Sadler named Ray Guy semifinalist

Michigan State punter makes final 10 list for national punter award with a nation-leading 15 punts downed inside the 10-yard line.

While Michigan State punter Mike Sadler might averages more than 25 yards per carry in his career, he has been making his mark as a consistent, reliable punter for the Spartans.

On Friday, Sadler was named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the nation's best punter.

"Mike Sadler helps make Michigan State special teams a weapon," special teams coordinator Mike Tressel said. "He can pin opponents inside their own 10-yard line as consistently as I've ever seen. He also can drive the ball deep to flip field position when that's needed.

"More than stats can tell, Mike understands the game and will do whatever our team needs to win."

Sadler has had 15 of his 47 punts downed inside the 10-yard line, which leads the nation. He is tied for second with 22 punts inside the 20 -- almost half of his punts.

Better yet, he has pinned opponents within their 5-yard line six times with two at the 1-yard line.

The value of that field position helps set up the Spartans' top-ranked defense time and time again, a fact not lost on defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.

"Mike Sadler has helped make us a great defense with his precision placement of punts this fall,"Narduzzi said. "Of his 17 punts placed at or inside the opponent's 10-yard line this season, our defense has come up with stops and forced punts 15 times. That gives our offense a short field to work with."

Sadler was named Big Ten player of the week after averaging 59.2 yards per punt in MSU's win against Indiana on Oct. 12, his third such honor in his career.

The three finalists for the Ray Guy award will be announced on Nov. 25 and a second round of ballots will be cast to decide the winner.

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