New Punt Return Formation

Submitted by jbibiza on September 26th, 2010 at 7:41 AM

I have not seen replays yet, but it would appear that we deployed three punt returners - Odoms and Dileo short with Gallon deep.  This was a long overdue change and echoed a comment by Brian on WTKA last week - something like "put three guys back there and catch the ball".   With the proliferation of spread punt formations and rugby punting we have seen way too many punts over the past few years that were uncatchable by our deep man yet landed short and rolled many yards to our detriment.  This new formation covers the short area on both sides while leaving Gallon free to concentrate on fielding and returning boots of normal distance.  Dileo lived up to his billing as a"natural" return man as he easily grabbed two shorties and returned each about 15 yards for a net of less than 20 (one was called back). Gallon was much more comfortable deep and very effective.  This alignment also protects the deep man as the two short guys (no offense Ninjas) can tell him whether to fair catch or not.  Great move - if a bit belated.



September 26th, 2010 at 7:50 AM ^

Yeah, I loved it as well.  When we get nothing out of our punt return game, we are losing out on easy yards that other teams are taking advantage of.  5-10 yards can be the difference between a punt and a field goal (however in our case, we probably would just punt anyways.)


September 26th, 2010 at 8:03 AM ^

are 5-10 yards less that denard gets to run for. Im not for it

/s.  but did anyone else find themselves thinking like that? when we got the penalty for having courtney avery and tae odoms both on the field (they were both wearing #9). I kept saying back em up. More yards our offense gets to run for.


September 26th, 2010 at 8:32 AM ^

It is a good idea especially for this rugby punt era where you kick it 30 yards and get it to bounce another 20.   We can stop it from bouncing that extra 20.

I'd like to see this new formation picture paged or something because I definitely fear being more vulnerable to fakes when taking two more guys away from the line of scrimage.


September 26th, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

Wouldn't that formation leave you vulnerable to fakes (outnumbering up front and all that)?  I suppose it wouldn't be deployed where a fake was somewhat likely.


September 26th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

This is one of the blessings of our schedule so far. They realized that they had problems in the scare against UMass. Bowling Green gave us some breathing room to really figure out what we're doing or should do on special teams before Big Ten play. Now hopefully they refine any changes they make so we can avoid being around the bottom of the Big Ten again!

Indiana Blue

September 26th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

I loved having 3 players staggered back to return punts !  We actually had someting like 25 yards in punt return yardage on the day !  Considering we had -10 yards in punt returns for the entire first 3 games, this was a huge improvement !

Go Blue !


September 26th, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

OSU used to do this when they has a great returned who was not great at catching punts (maybe Ginn?).  As I recall he muffed a punt or two against M and the second guy was always there to fall on it.


September 26th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

I thought Dileo looked like a much better returner than Gallon on the two he received (though I think both came back for penalties). Gallon's biggest problem seems to be his indecisiveness.