Iowa State Football: Previewing Oklahoma State’s Special Teams


There aren’t too many players to scout on the special teams unit. Meet Quinn Sharp, a senior punter and place kicker for the team. Having the best punting averages over the last two seasons in school history, along with receiving semifinalist in multiple awards, he could be one of the best special teams players in the entire country.

Quinn Sharp wants to get revenge on the Cyclones this Saturday. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE

Special Teams Breakdown

  • Field Goals: 4th in conference (made 9-12)
  • PATs: Have made all 30 extra points (joins five teams in Big 12)
  • Punt returns: 7th in conference (11.37 yd average)
  • Kickoff returns: 3rd in conference (25.82 yd average)

Is Quinn Sharp really that good to run punts, field goals, and extra points?

Sharp is likely the best player on the special teams unit not only in the Big 12, but in the country. He’s defending his player of the year title in the conference, and was the first player every to be listed as a punter and kicker on the all-conference team. Even better, he was named on the All-American first team in the last two seasons.

Here are the numbers in each phase on special teams this season:

  • Punting: Holds a 47.5 average on 13 punts, his longest was a booming 71-yard smack. Of those punts, one hit the endzone for a touchback and four have been stuck inside the 20.
  • Field Goals: Has missed three on the season; the one and only against Savannah State and one each in the previous two weeks of conference play.
  • Kickoffs: Generally, Sharp hits the endzone 84 percent of the time for a touchback.

The Cowboys barely punt, so it’s probably why Sharp just has 13 punts on the season so far. It’s not the most ideal start, but he’s certainly talented enough.

Who are the biggest threats on the return?

No one really dazzles on punt returns, but junior defensive back Justin Gilbert averages almost 30 return yards on kickoffs. Gilbert exploded onto the scene with 5 returns for 122 yards against Arizona. Later Big 12 play hasn’t been at the same level.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.