2015 Preview: Veterans Key Special Teams
Aug. 21, 2015
With the return of a pair of four-year starters in place-kicker Jaden Oberkrom (6-3, 187, Sr.) and punter Ethan Perry (6-4, 230, Sr.) as well as a host of talented return specialists, TCU's special teams are again projected to be a strength this season.
Oberkrom, a 2014 All-Big 12 selection and Lou Groza Award semifinalist, was the nation's leading kick scorer last season while ranking seventh overall with 142 points (10.9 per game).
Oberkrom set six TCU records: season kicking points (142), consecutive PATs made (100), season PATs (76), season PAT attempts (77), single-game PATs (10) and single-game PATs attempted (10).
The Arlington native was 22-of-27 on field goals, including a 37-yard kick on the final play of the game to give TCU a 31-30 win at West Virginia. His 67.7 career percentage on field-goal attempts of at least 40 yards ranks third in Big 12 history.
Perry was key in the Horned Frogs leading the nation in allowing minus-9 punt return yards on the season, a mark that ranks as the best in NCAA statistical history.
Perry ranked eighth in the nation with 45.3 percent (29-of-64) of his punts going inside the opponent 20-yard line. He had just five touchbacks with 12 punts of at least 50 yards. He averaged 39.2 yards on the season.
The return game has a host of available candidates, including Ranthony Texada (5-10, 170, So.), Kyle Hicks (5-10, 200, So.) and Derrick Kindred (5-10, 210, Sr.). Texada averaged 54.5 yards on his two returns last season.
The Horned Frogs also have a talented group of newcomers who could figure into the mix.
TCU has returned either a kickoff or punt for a touchdown in seven of the last eight seasons.
BY THE NUMBERS:
-9 - Punt return yards allowed by TCU last season, marking the lowest total in NCAA history
1 - Jaden Oberkrom's national ranking in kick scoring (10.9 points per game) last season
6 - School records set by Jaden Oberkrom last season
160 - TCU single-game record for punt return yards, including a 70-yard touchdown on his first collegiate touch, by Deante' Gray in his Horned Frogs debut in 2012
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