Special teams coordinator Sean Saturnio was named one of three finalists for FootballScoop Special Teams Coach of the Year, it was announced today. Saturnio turned around the Black Knights' special teams unit in 2020, making it one of the nation's best as they set a program-record seven blocked kicks on the year. Those seven blocked kicks also led the nation, and the Black Knights also tied for the national lead with three blocked punts. Ryan Duran led the country individually with three blocked kicks.
The team also finished ninth nationally in special teams efficiency according to ESPN.com. Tyrell Robinson had a breakout year for the Black Knights as a plebe, ranking 21st nationally with 7.7 yards per punt return on the season.
The punting unit excelled as well under Saturnio, as Ray Guy Award watch lister Zach Harding punted 41 times through 11 games, good for a career-high 1774 yards, averaging 43.3 yards per punt. He had 12 punts of 50+ yards and 17 of those were downed within the 20 yard line, including his final eight-straight punts of the regular season as he was named to the 2020 Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team.
The kicking game was also strong, with Landon Salyers and Quinn Maretzki good for 7-of-10 field goal attempts on the season. Read more.