Anderson Shines Despite Loss

Punters can sometimes judge their success by how few times they are needed on the field in a game. In that respect senior punter Adam Anderson had a terrible day seeing the field a season-high 10 times against Miami. Despite being needed so much in the game Anderson delivered excellence along with the entire punt protection and coverage squad.

Adam Anderson came to WMU as a walk-on after being turned down everywhere else he went and quickly established himself as one of the best practice punters in the country. As his career marched on in Kalamazoo he began to translate that success in practice into consistent success on game day.

Now Anderson is a defending All-MAC First-Team selection having averaged 43.9 yards per punt with a long of 72 yards last season. This season – aside from a blustery day in Mt. Pleasant – Anderson has maintained his success right through an effort against Miami that resulted in a 45.4-yard average including landing the ball inside the 20-yard-line four times.

If the best scenario for a senior punter in his last home game would be to not be needed, the next best thing is the way Anderson was able to rise to the occasion when he was needed. But Anderson wasn't the only member of the punt team rising to the occasion.

Ryne Robinson of Miami has been terrorizing punt coverage teams all season averaging 16.3 yards per return, good enough for fourth best in the nation. Robinson is also one of only two players in the MAC – joining WMU's Greg Jennings – to have returned multiple punts for touchdowns this season.

In Saturday's game Robinson was held to negative 4 total yards in four tries. That's not a typo, that's negative 4 yards on the day by one of the nation's best.

A big reason for the Broncos' success in punt coverage was senior defensive end Jack Gitler, who pinned Robinson to his own 7-yard-line for a return of negative 13-yards in the first quarter.

The Broncos were also able to down a punt at the 2-yard-line, force three fair catches, have a 50-yard punt roll harmlessly out-of-bounds, force a fumble and get timely tackles by Chad Feldpausch and Antwain Allen.

When head coach Gary Darnell went looking for positives in the 42-21 loss to Miami he told the media after the game, "when you go looking for a small victory, start with that one," in reference to the punting of Anderson and the punt coverage team as a whole.

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