It’s not very often that a team loses one punter to a significant injury. But two? Unheard of. Almost.
Earlier in the week, speculation was making the rounds that Michigan State’s starting punter, Tyler Hunt, had sustained some type of non-contact injury during practice leading up to Saturday’s game against Purdue. Following the win over the Boilermakers, Mark Dantonio confirmed that Hunt (pictured) suffered a torn ACL and will be sidelined for the rest of the 2018 season.
Hunt had replaced four-year starter Jake Hartbarger, who suffered an injury in the Week 2 loss to Arizona State and, after it was initially thought he’d be returning in 6-8 weeks, was ruled out for the remainder of the year earlier this month.
“I don’t think I’ve ever lost one punter, been on a team that’s lost one punter,” the head coach said by way of mlive.com, “let alone two.”
With both Hartbarger and Hunt down for the season, the Spartans’ punting hopes will rest on the right leg of redshirt freshman Bryce Baringer the remainder of the season (provided he remains healthy, of course). According to mlive.com, Baringer “spent last year at Illinois but didn’t play before transferring to Michigan State” and “was added to the team the week after Hartbarger was injured.”
In the win over the Boilermakers, Baringer punted four times and averaged 38.5 per.