LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech had a specialist honored with a Big 12 weekly award for a second-consecutive week Monday as junior punter Austin McNamara shared Special Teams Player of the Week accolades following another record-setting performance against Oklahoma State.
This is the first career weekly award for McNamara, who sailed an FBS record eight punts at least 50 yards in Tech’s loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State. It is the third time Tech has garnered at least a share of Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors this season as Jonathan Garibay was previously recognized on Oct. 4 and then last Monday following his game-winning kicks against both West Virginia and Iowa State.
Colorado’s Mark Mariscal previously held the FBS record for most punts of at least 50 yards prior to McNamara’s performance this past weekend. Mariscal sent seven punts 50 yards or longer in a 2002 game against Southern California, one fewer than McNamara, who averaged an impressive 56.4 yards over his nine attempts versus the Cowboys.
McNamara came close to snapping the Tech single-game record for punting average in the process as he was less than a yard shy of Alex Reyes’ school mark of 57.0 that was set in a 2004 victory over Baylor. It marked the second-highest average for an FBS punter in a game this season and the third-highest for any punter with at least nine attempts in a game dating back to 2000.
The performance pushed McNamara’s season average up to an impressive 48.5 yards per punt, which currently ranks second in the Big 12 and is on pace to snap the long-standing school record of 46.8 that was set by Mark Bounds in 1991. McNamara already owns the second-highest mark in school history after averaging 46.3 yards per punt a year ago.
He averaged 45.0 yards per punt as a true freshman in 2019, which ranks fifth currently, making McNamara the only player currently in school history with two of the top-five clips in the single-season record book. McNamara is now averaging 46.3 yards per punt over his nearly three complete seasons, which would easily snap the Tech career record of 43.7 yards an attempt from Taylor Symmank (2012-15).
McNamara consistently flipped the field against Oklahoma State, downing four of his nine punts inside the 20 with his longest going 70 yards. It marked the third time in his career where he has booted a punt at least 70 yards as he previously recorded 74 and 87-yard attempts last season against West Virginia, the final one of which set a Tech and Big 12 single-game record.
McNamara, a native of Gilbert, Arizona, will look for a similar outing Saturday when the Red Raiders close the regular season at No. 9 Baylor. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. from McLane Stadium in Waco.
Release provided by Matt Dowdy Texas Tech Athletics