Harrison Butker is doing one part of his job exceedingly well and another part far less so.
With 36 touchbacks in 55 kickoffs, the Georgia Tech kicker has exceeded his total from all of last season, when he was 30-for-73. His 65.5 percent touchback rate is tied for eighth in the country and is a considerable break from his predecessors at Tech.
Butker credited strength gains and better consistency connecting on the ball’s sweet spot.
“Just got to keep going when it gets cold and stay true to my technique,” he said.
However, Butker’s 58.3 percent rate (7-for-12) on field goals is 12th among ACC kickers. Most curiously, he is 1-for-5 between 30 and 39 yards.
Coach Paul Johnson said Tech’s special teams overall has probably been a “net plus,” but said that Butker’s field-goal kicking the biggest surprise in the kicking game.
“I think Harrison’s a really good kicker and I think he’s really talented and we haven’t done as well at that as I thought we would have,” Johnson said.
Butker did not sound shaken over his field-goal performance and said he was actually hitting the ball much better than last year, when he was 10-for-14.
“I’m not getting discouraged,” he said. “I’m still confident in what I can do.”