Starting punter remains in flux for Oregon Ducks

Oregon’s punting situation is in flux midway through the season.

The No. 12 Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) have relied on two punters, Adam Barry and Ross James, in two of the last three games as the starting role has gone back and forth between the pair of offseason transfers.

Barry, a senior who came to UO from Temple, was the starter for the first four games but was replaced after a short punt at Washington State, when James, a junior college transfer, made his Division I debut.

James started and averaged 43.4 yards on five punts against Stanford but averaged just 38 yards on two punts at Arizona and was replaced by Barry, who crushed a 58-yard punt and had a 41-yarder, both going inside the 20.

The job remains up for grabs amid UO’s bye week.

“Just like every position, you got to continue to perform at a high level and we have guys on our roster that can compete and we’re going to keep competition going,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “It’s not just that position, it’s every position.”

The Ducks are 105th in average punt distance (40.11 yards) and 85th in net punting (37.79 yards).

Oregon’s punt return defense is skewed by allowing just three returns to date, but with six of the Pac-12′s top eight teams in punt returns remaining on the schedule the Ducks have a problem to resolve before hosting No. 11 UCLA (6-0, 3-0) next week.

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