Placekicking: SDSU went 17-22 last season.
mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
In the aftermath of Dan Ferrigno's hiring, a lot has been made about Michigan finally getting a new special teams coach. This should help shed some light on the past performance of Coach Ferrigno.
Caveats- The data is incomplete. NCAA archives only go back to the 1999 season, where Ferrigno was in his fourth season as special teams coach at Cal. He spent 1996-1999 as special teams coach at Cal, moved on for the same job at USC for the 2000 season, and then did not go back to coaching special teams until 2009 at San DIego State under Coach Hoke.
Just a memory jolt, because the overall strength of the team obviously has a huge impact on their special teams play.
1999- Cal 4-7 (3-5) Unranked. Later forefitted victories due to ineligible players.
2000 USC 5-7 (1-7) Unranked.
2009 SDSU 4-8 (2-6) Unranked.
2010 SDSU 9-4 (5-3) Unranked.
|Team||Net Punting||Punt Return||Kickoff Return|
|1999 Cal||9 (39.7)||30 (11.0)||12 (23.7)|
|2000 USC||110 (36.21)||63 (9.19)||62 (19.49)|
|2009 SDSU||18 (38.05)||92 (6.31)||97 (20.10)|
|2010 SDSU||49 (36.93)||93 (6.04)||107 (19.34)|
Let's take a look at Michigan under Coach Rodriguez:
|Year||Net Punting||Punt Return||Kickoff Return|
|2008||5 (39.34)||64 (8.62)||56 (21.44)|
|2009||3 (40.93)||62 (8.67)||23 (23.80)|
|2010||69 (36.07)||67 (7.43)||68 (21.44)|
One thing to remember is that special teams rankings are very fickle. .2 yards can decide the difference between the 20th ranked team and the 60th. Anyway, I hope this adds something to our regime change analysis.
Michigan (under RR):
Placekicking: SDSU went 17-22 last season.
That was the first stat I wanted to include, but it gets messy going back to the first two seasons. Honestly, anything would be an upgrade to our FG situation so in the end I decided to forget about it unless I can get the free time to go through Cal/USC rosters and get the numbers manually from there.
You should including field goals.
I'm working on it now, but navigating Cal's total team statistics from '99 is frustrating to say the least. Hopefully USC will be better. I know SDSU/Michigan's are readily available.
Thanks a ton for this. Hopefully it kills dead the "Special Teams now will rule" meme I've seen start to bubble up. Optimism is great, but it has to be based on something. Three of those 4 FG seasons by Ferrigno would have been "UNACCEPTABLE."
Hopefully there's not some Cal message board somewhere (ha!) gloating we hired the guy who "coached" their K to a 5-15 season.
I'm sure Ferrigno will be fine, but unless we do REALLY great next year or REALLY poor next year (a la 2003 vs Oregon), I won't credit or blame him.
Years of experience coaching it and at times with very good results? Should have access to better athletes at Michigan? It isn't Tony Gibson running it? The head coach and linebackers coach are also going to be hands on in a concerted effort? There won't be excuses, jocularity, or indifference thrown at the issue by the head coach, possibly causing it to spill over to the rest of the team?
Those are some somethings that make me think it will be eyeball test better.
What are you talking about? "Years of experience coaching it and at times with very good results?"
Out of those 4 years listed, not one is a "very good result." Either the return game was good and the FG kicker stunk, or the FG kicker was good and the return games stunk. Or, they all were pretty bad.
All that other stuff is weird - if you're going to blame "jocularity" for this year's FG kicking, are you crediting it for the great punting or the perfectly competent kicking in the other years? Hell, if we really want to get into it, in 2007 at WVU, their kicker was 13-19 and averaged 42.7 yds. The year before, it was 17-22 and 43.2. Was their "indifference" a help or a hinderance then?
I'm glad people are positive, but it's got to be based on something tangible. Stop just making stuff up.
The thing that sucks is 3/4 of it was good in 1999, when he had four years to get his people/methods in place. If there was drastic/steady improvement between 1996-1999, then the low numbers could just be attributed to his bouncing around and not staying at one school long enough.
However, I don't know how to get the records from before 1999, because neither the NCAA nor Cal keep them on their websites.
you don't/didn't like RR. Its over little guy. Calm the fuck down with trying to trash him in everything you say.
why did we hire him?
From what Ive read in here lately why did they hire any of these coaches , They all suck , We are gonna lose .. Going to drive me to drink !!! Well drink more LOL
...are really the only things that can be coached. How well do his teams HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL? That's the biggest difference that can be made on ST. Also, staying in lanes and staying disciplined on coverage.
Beamer/VT has some success blocking punts and kicks because he tends to put his best athletes on ST. A lot of coaches don't want to risk an injury to do that and the benefits may or may not outweigh the risks.
Other than that, the coach doesn't really matter beyond recruiting guys. You can have a fast guy returning kicks but you can't coach that. Punting and kicking is a skill that these guys have or don't have.
Without going back and watching each of these games, I'm not sure what other statistics even exist. I went back to the complete box scores/drive charts for USC in 2000 and didn't find a special teams related turnover in the few games I checked. Coverage would be a good thing to look at, but there's no way to compare that to every other FBS team. I took all the statistics I could get from the teams and the NCAA and put them up in the OP.
We were one of the least penalized teams in the country the last two years. We were around the top ten -- along with the service academies (Army, Navy, Air Force) and senior-laden teams like Wisconsin this year. Plenty to complain about RR, but penalties are not a fair reason. They are a pretty good measure of team discipline (service academies, again) and considering how young we have been the past two years, the low penalty rate is even more of an accomplishment.
assuming this is right, we must've been first apart from lewan!
That RR was a statistical disaster on special teams, aside from in 2010. It was the fact that our grip on mediocrity was so tenuous during his 3 years, and that every year some deep problem on special teams kept us from being on the "enthusiasm-generating" side of mediocrity. One thing you didn't capture were the punt and kick return fumbles over the course of his first two years as coach. Those devastated us, and were likely the difference between 8-15 (over two years) and a more bearable 11-12.
But as soon as that was solved, on came the unmitigated kicking disaster of 2010. Anyone really think we wouldn't have done better with an average kicking game? I figure it was worth at least 1 win, and we had 3 close ones we could have taken. Maybe we could even have won the one against Little Brother.
Yes the defense was wretched and yes the offense sputtered to the finish, but we'd likely all be discussing Rich Rodriguez's plan for year 4 had our special teams not been so "special." It would have been much harder to fire a guy who went 19-17 than one who went 15-21, after all...
No disagreement here, on any of it. I wasn't trying to make a ZOMG we shouldn't have fired RR! argument so much as just showing a baseline. Everyone here knew how RR's special teams fared, so it seemed logical to use that as the comparison.
As far as net punting....
RR had Zolton Mesko for those first two years. He did not recruit him. Notice the huge drop off.
True. But when you only have four sets of numbers to deal with, you need to include them all.
I honestly don't worry too much about punting average, or kick return averages. Those are primarily dependent on the individual, and someone either has the skill or they do not.
I'll be happy as long as Hoke isn't stubborn enough to put Gallon back there for kick after kick, fully knowing he was good for at least a fumble a game. And I'll be happy if we don't kick the damn ball out of bounds on kickoffs twice during a game. Oh, and making a field goal once in a while would also be nice.
What about kick coverage statistics?
Yes, the Gallon factor is an important point. Here's why our special teams dropped so much from 2009-2010:
KR: Stonum ==> Gallon (bad idea)
PR: Odoms ==> Gallon (bad idea)
Kickoffs: Wright ==> GibbonHuizen (couldn't help it)
FGs: Olesnavage ==> GibbonHuizen (couldn't help it)
Punting: Mesko ==> Hagerup (freshman jitters, couldn't help it)
was probably out of fear of injury. You don't necessarily want your best reciever getting hit when your defense is giving up so many points. Also Odoms was injured for half the season,
for ST the ball security was a big issue at first but he seemed to take care of that. Meskos departure definatly hurt but Hagerup was highly recruited as well as Gibbons and SB. I sat on the 40 yd line at this years bowl game and watched them drill several 30+ yd field goals during the warm up and watched in dismay when the kicking unit took the field on a 4th and 4 somewhere inside the 20! Couldnt possibly imagine how frustrating that must of been for RR seeing them make a high percentage of field goals all week in practice and screw the pooch on game day.
where the fg was blocked and the team was just standing around, and Iowa picked it up and ran it to what midfield? I don't now if that's in the above stats, but plays like that are what made the s/t play below average.