Kickoff coverage problems?

Submitted by learmanj on September 6th, 2010 at 7:14 PM

I've been slowly watching the replay of the game (I was at it) and have noticed that almost every kickoff or punt was some sort of squib.  Additionally, Stonum returned the opening kickoff of the Beanie Bowl for a TD.  So question for the MGoCommunity, are our special team coverage units that bad that we can't even perform a normal kick? 

Comments

931 S State

September 6th, 2010 at 7:23 PM ^

I was looking back at this myself today as well.  The kicking game as a whole is the most discouraging aspect of the teams performance Saturday.  They squibbed it at least twice, and the deep kicks were line drives that didn't have much hangtime.  I was going to calculate the UConn's average starting field position, but didn't get around to it, but despite the poor kicks, they only had really good starting field position once (one drive I think started at Mich 39).  I hope that the wind played a role in the decision to squib the kicks.

Also, the missed XP looked to me like a bad hold by Dileo.  

The kicking game makes me very nervous about the ND game.   I hope we can light them up and not have to worry about it coming down to a FG late, but I won't be surprised if it does.

tpilews

September 6th, 2010 at 7:43 PM ^

The first kickoff was definitely against the wind. That thing died fast.

Also, the PAT that Gibbons missed was a bad snap/hold; he had to "double clutch" his leg. His missed FG looked like it got killed by the wind as well. Good aim on it, just very short. Hagerup's one punt wasn't the best even though it bounced for +50 yards. Good to get that one out of the way.

Blue boy johnson

September 6th, 2010 at 8:06 PM ^

Bull shit. Kicks into the south end-zone were the ones with the most carry and the first kick was towards the south end-zone. The squib kicks were kicked toward the north end-zone, the same end-zone which knocked down Gibbons field goal attempt, the same end-zone where Jeremy Gallon risked his life diving for a punt the wind knocked down.

umich1

September 6th, 2010 at 8:44 PM ^

I was at the game, and was cussing up a storm when we opted to kick into the wind for the first kickoff, and hadn't realized they were in the other direction during the coin flip.

I'm glad to hear they were intentional though.  From my perspective, I was worried our kicking game was that bad!

Nosce Te Ipsum

September 6th, 2010 at 7:35 PM ^

All aspects of kicking seem to be a problem save punting. However, if our offense continues to perform at this rate then Gibbons will get ample practice with kick offs and extra points so the problem should fix itself.

Brhino

September 6th, 2010 at 7:47 PM ^

the squib kickoffs were definitely into the wind, every one.  The only bad kickoff with the wind was one of the ones where we had to use a holder - that seemed to throw things off.  The other kicks with the wind were nice deep shots.  I guess with that wind blowing the coaches felt a squib was preferable to a long, high kick.

bronxblue

September 6th, 2010 at 8:26 PM ^

Seemed like the squibbs were intentional, and perhaps had something to do with the wind.  It did not seem to be specific to a particular endzone, and at times they boomed the ball.  My guess is that with the wind blowing as badly as it looked, the coaching staff didn't want the ball to hang up there and possibly drop for good field position or, worse, fly out of bounds for a penalty.  My only real concern with the special teams was the one muffed punt return by Robinson(?), but that seemed to be more of an excessive effort issue and, I suspect, will be addressed by the coaching staff.

Still, it is nice that after the first game of the season, the biggest complaint is that our multiple kickoffs were not the best. 

M-Wolverine

September 6th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

The wind was swirling big time. They even commented on the radio when Karsh said the wind was going east-west on the field, but the flags were going north-south (and even that seemed to change, with the flags going one direction, then the next). But when the wind wax to their back, they still got 2-3 into the endzone. Beyond that, they were saying U-Conn's returners hit some big ones last year, so they were kicking away from them.