Iowa Football

Michael Sleep-Dalton's Arizona State punting successor is a monster

Matthew Turk averaging 55.3 yards per punt

Iowa punter Michael Sleep-Dalton (22) kicks from the end zone during the first half of the Hawkeyes’ 30-0 win over Rutgers last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa punter Michael Sleep-Dalton (22) kicks from the end zone during the first half of the Hawkeyes’ 30-0 win over Rutgers last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Iowa punter Michael Sleep-Dalton delivered big-time for the Hawkeyes last Saturday in their 30-0 Kinnick Stadium rout of Rutgers.

The graduate transfer from Arizona State punted six times for an average of 48.3 yards. That’s quite an upgrade at that position so far.

Rutgers punter Adam Korsak was a force of nature in that game. He punted 10 times for a 47.6-yard average, and left four of the kicks inside the Iowa 3-yard line.

That didn’t get Korsak the Big Ten’s Special Teams Player of the Week award -- a decision that was terrible, and ridiculed by many an Iowa fan. It did, however, earn him the Ray Guy Punter of the Week Award, a national honor.

The previous week’s winner of that honor was a fellow named Michael Turk. He set the NCAA record for highest average yards per punt in a game with a minimum of five attempts when he had five punts for an average of 63.0 yards.

Turk’s punts traveled 64 62, 65, 49 and 75 yards. The old record was 60.8 yards, set last year by Braden Mann of Texas A&M.

For which team is redshirt sophomore Turk kicking? That would be Arizona State, where Sleep-Dalton averaged 43.9 yards last season.

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Turk’s record-breaking effort came in a 30-7 win over Kent State. He followed that by averaging 47.6 yards on five punts in ASU’s 19-7 victory over Sacramento State, which got him on the Ray Guy Award’s ‘Ray’s 8’ this week. Three of those five punts were placed inside the Sacramento State 20-yard line.

The two weeks totaled gave Turk a season-average of 55.3 yards, almost 5 full yards per punt more than second-place Max Duffy of Kentucky.

So Arizona State’s happy with its punting and Iowa’s happy with its punting.

Sleep-Dalton and Korsak are from Australia. So is Oscar Bradburn of Virginia Tech, third in the nation in punting, and Trent Schneider of South Florida, who is fifth.

Turk? He’s from Dallas. He transferred from Lafayette (Pa.) College of the Patriot League. His uncle, Matt Turk, punted for 17 seasons in the NFL. Current Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards was the New York Jets’ coach in 2002 when Edwards was the coach there.

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