A Montana Grizzly Wins Nationwide College Football Honor for 2022
A freshman wins the award. Enters transfer portal. Another freshman replaces him. Wins the award. May this one punt the portal miles from here.
We join Griz Nation in congratulating University of Montana freshman punter Patrick Rohrbach of Kalispell. UM Sports Information Director Eric Taber informed us today (Wednesday) that Patrick has won the Football Championship Subdivision's (FCS) highest special teams honor, being named FCS Punter of the Year by the Augusta Sports Council.
Last year's winner, former Griz Brian Buschini, transferred to Nebraska after his freshman season.
Rohrbach was one of ten finalists for the award, voted on by a national body of FCS sports information directors, conference representatives, and sports writers. He checked all the right statistical boxes, and showed character and leadership as a team player, something that also factors into the voting process.
According to Eric Taber, among the most important statistics used to identify the winner are net punt average, number of punts inside the 20 yard line, total yardage punted, average yardage of returned punts, and the percentage of punts not returned.
So how much of that cream rose to the top of Rohrbach's resume?
Well, let's check the stats.
He finished the year with a Big Sky Conference-best average of 45.2 yards per punt, the second-best average in Griz program history. Montana's punt coverage unit also posted the second-best net punt average in the FCS this season at 41.52 yards. Together, Montana allowed opponents to average just 3.68 yards per punt return.
When all was said and done for 2022, Patrick racked up 2,170 yards on 48 punts. He placed 18 of those inside the opponent's 20-yard line and crushed 15 punts 50 yards or longer.
Those numbers not only earned him Augusta's Punter of the Year award, but he also finished ninth in the voting for this year's Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award, which is given to the nation's top freshman player at any position! (Congrats to this year's winner, Idaho Vandal quarterback Gevani McCoy).
Rohrbach will be flown to Augusta, Georgia, for an awards banquet where he will receive the FCS trophy. Adam Korsak of Rutgers will receive the Ray Guy Award for being named FBS Punter of the Year at the same ceremony.
A good Griz doing good things!