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#37 Sam Koch
Position: Punter
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 225
Year: Senior
City/State: Seward, Neb.
High School: Seward
Sam Koch Printable Biography Sam Koch Printable Biography
  • 2005 Ray Guy Award Semifinalist
  • 2005 Nebraska Special Teams MVP
  • 2005 First-Team All-American (NationalChamps.net)
  • 2005 First-Team All-Big 12 (Kansas City Star)
  • 2005 Guy Chamberlin Trophy Winner
  • 2005 Second-Team All-Big 12 (San Antonio Express News)
  • 2005 Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (AP, Coaches)
  • Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Pittsburgh
  • 2005 Second-Team Academic All-Big 12
  • 2005 Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll
  • 2005 Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll
  • 2005 (Senior)
    Punter Sam Koch (pronouced COOK) was the catalyst behind outstanding Nebraska punting units each of the past two seasons. In his senior year in 2005, Koch put together the finest season ever by a Nebraska punter, shattering the single-season punting average record by averaging 46.51 yards per boot.

    Koch’s impressive average bettered the previous record of 45.12 yards per punt by Ray Guy Award finalist and current Cincinnati Bengal Kyle Larson in 2003. Koch’s punting average placed him second nationally and helped Nebraska to a No. 2 national ranking in net punting at 39.85 yards per attempt. Also a standout in 2004, Koch’s career punting average of 44.04 yards is third in school history.

    As a senior Koch was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, and while he was shut out of All-America recognition by most of the major sources, he was a first-team All-America selection by NationalChamps.net. The 6-1, 225-pound Koch was also a first-team All-Big 12 pick by the Kansas City Star, a second-team selection by the San Antonio Express News and an honorable-mention all-league choice by the Associated Press and the Big 12 Coaches.

    Koch started the 2005 season with a bang, booting three punts of 70 yards or more in Nebraska’s first three games, becoming only the second punter in school history with three kicks of 70 yards or more. He had a then-career-long 70-yard punt in the opener against Maine, then recorded a then-personal-best kick for the second game in a row with a 76-yard blast in the Huskers’ 31-3 win over Wake Forest, pinning the Demon Deacons at their own eight-yard line.

    The Seward, Neb., native followed up with arguably the best performance of his career in a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh. Koch stuck five of his eight punts inside the Panthers’ 20-yard line, and booted a career-long 84-yard kick. The punt was the second-longest in school history, and the longest in Big 12 history (since 1996). He also kicked two other punts more than 50 yards and was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts.

    Koch set a career best for punting average for the second time in 2005 when he averaged 48.1 yards against Missouri, with three punts of 50 yards or more. He also tied a career high by landing five punts inside the MU 20-yard line. Nebraska’s net punting average against Missouri was an outstanding 47.0.

    The thin Rocky Mountain air of Colorado proved to be great kicking conditions for Koch, as he averaged a career-best 54.8 yards on five punts during the win against the Buffs. He had four kicks of 50-plus yards, including two that traveled more than 60 yards. His biggest punt came on a 61-yard kick when the Huskers were pinned inside their own one-yard line. His single-game average was the best in the Big 12 in 2005. He capped his career in great style in the 2005 Alamo Bowl, averaging 51.5 yards on eight punts against Michigan, including five 50-plus-yard punts.

    A former walk-on, Koch received a scholarship before the start of the 2004 season. Koch picked up his degree in December of 2005 in business administration.

    2004 (Junior)
    Koch faced the tough task of replacing 2003 All-American and current Cincinnati Bengal Kyle Larson as the starting punter. Koch handled the task extremely well, averaging 41.3 yards on 63 punts, with a long of 65 yards.

    Koch had 40 punts that traveled 40 yards or more on the season, with 27 of his punts downed inside the opponent 20-yard line. Another 15 of his attempts ended in fair catches. The punting of Koch aided Nebraska to a No. 16 national ranking in net punting at 38.39 yards per attempt.

    Koch's performance was remarkably consistent, as he had a boot of 48 yards or longer in every game, and connected on a 50-yard-plus punt in eight of 11 games. He had four games with two or more punts covering at least 50 yards and booted three kicks more than 50 yards at Iowa State.

    He had a season-high five punts downed inside the 20 against Missouri, with four each deep in opponent's territory against Iowa State and Pittsburgh.

    2003 (Sophomore)
    Koch played in the season's final seven games and handled Nebraska's kickoffs. Texas A&M returned four kickoffs in Koch's debut, but in his final six games in the role, NU opponents had just 10 returns for a total of 165 yards. Eighteen of Koch's 32 kickoffs went for touchbacks, including five of six at Colorado. He backed up Larson, but did not attempt a punt.

    2002 (Redshirt Freshman)
    Koch did not see game action as Larson's backup at punter.

    2001 (Redshirt)
    Koch redshirted in his first season at Nebraska.

    Before Nebraska (Seward HS)
    Koch starred for Coach Greg Welch at Seward High School, where he handled punting and kicking duties, and also lined up at fullback, tight end, linebacker and offensive line. Koch averaged 41.5 yards per punt as a senior and also led the team in tackles to help the Bluejays to the Class B quarterfinals.

    Koch played in the Shrine Bowl as a kicker, punter and fullback and was a super-state selection as a senior by the Lincoln Journal Star. He was a three-time all-conference pick and helped Seward to state semifinal appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons. Koch also lettered in basketball and soccer.

    Personal
    The son of Dave and Cindy Koch, Sam was born on Aug. 13, 1982. He and his wife, Nikki, were married in May of 2005, and the couple has two children, Ryan,and Braxtyn. Koch majored in business administration and earned his bachelor's degree in December of 2005. He was a second-team academic All-Big 12 selection as a senior and a two-time Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Academic Honor Roll member.

    Koch's Career Statistics 

    Year

    G/S

    No.

    Yds.

    Avg.

    Inside 20

    Long

    2001

    Redshirt

     

     

     

     

     

    2002

    0/0

    0

    0

    0.0

    0

    0

    2003

    7/0

    0

    0

    0.0

    0

    0

    2004

    11/11

    63

    2,600

    41.3

    27

    65 vs. Missouri

    2005

    12/12

    71

    3,302

    46.5

    29

    84 vs. Pittsburgh

    Totals

    30/23

    134

    5,902

    44.04

    56

    84 vs. Pittsburgh




     

     


     

    Single-Game Bests
    Punts - 10 vs. Missouri, 2004
    Punting Yards - 428 at Kansas, 2005
    Punting Average (min. 2 punts) - 54.8 at Colorado, 2005 (5 punts)
    Long Punt - 84 vs. Pittsburgh, 2005
    Number of Career Punts of 50-Plus Yards - 41, 13 in 2004, 28 in 2005
    Most Punts Downed Inside 20-Yard Line - 5 vs. Missouri, 2004; vs. Pitt, 2005; at MU, 2005