College Sports

Belleville West graduate honored by Big 12, O’Fallon product by MAC

Former Belleville West All-American kicker and punter Austin Seibert (43) was the Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after setting the league scoring record in a win over Oklahoma State in November.
Former Belleville West All-American kicker and punter Austin Seibert (43) was the Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after setting the league scoring record in a win over Oklahoma State in November. AP

It was another big honor this week for Belleville West graduate Austin Seibert at the University of Oklahoma.

The Sooners’ sophomore kicker and punter was named Big 12 Conference Special teams Player of the Week on Monday after taking on a big role in 20th-ranked Oklahoma’s 52-46 road victory over 21st-ranked Texas Christian.

Seibert punted five times for a 44-yard average, including a 50-yarder, and had two punts downed inside the 20. He also went 7-for-07 on extra points and hit a 35-yard field goal that gave the Sooners their final points with 1:55 remaining.

Five of Seibert’s nine kickoffs were touchbacks as he won Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career.

He also won it last season when he went 3-for-3 on field goals in a victory over West Virginia and had a 43.4-yard average on five punts.

Seibert is 4-for-6 on field goals this season and has been successful on all 20 of his extra-point tries. More than 50 percent of his 28 kickoffs have been touchbacks and he is averaging 42.5 yards on 16 punts.

Seibert was second-team All-Big 12 last season as a freshman and also was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation’s top punter. In addition, he was named honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated.

Oklahoma (2-2) will face Texas (2-2) in the annual Red River Showdown at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Austin Barnes

Eastern Michigan University redshirt junior punterAustin Barnes, an O’Fallon graduate, was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Special Teams Player of the Week.

Barnes' performance in the punting game helped Eastern Michigan to a 28-25 conference-opening win over Bowling Green State University on the road, Oct. 1. Punting five times, Barnes' averaged a season-best 50 yards per punt, highlighted by a long of 56 yards.

The Fairview Heights product pinned the Falcons inside their own 20 on three occasions and forced two fair catches. Two punts pinned Bowling Green inside their own five.

Barnes' season average of 47.6 ranks fourth in the country and first in the MAC. The fourth-year punter holds a career average of 43.0 yards, which is second all-time in EMU history, while his 6,019 total yards ranks eighth all-time.

Eastern Michigan is 4-1 on the season.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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