Shield punt formation vs. normal "spread" formation

Submitted by Indiana Blue on September 10th, 2013 at 2:52 PM

It seems to me that the shield punt formation has been around for a number of years now. (I thought it was called a spread formation ... but its NOT, the "spread" is Michigan's normal punt formation)   Like many MGo'ers I believe the shield formation actually increases the punting team's ability to get coverage downfield and deter a long punt return.  But I am throwing this to the educated masses ... is there empirical evidence to support that the "sheild" formation is statistically more effective than the spread formation?

I did do the google thing with some interesting results about the shield formation - with several articles referencing spectacular results ... however no statistical evidence, which I thought was odd.  I think our kicking game is well served right now in all facets, with the possible exception of punting.  Go Blue!

 

Comments

Indiana Blue

September 10th, 2013 at 3:47 PM ^

I should have know Mathlete would have already performed surgery on this one!  I didn't check the Diaries.  However .. he did mislabel it the spread punt, when it is known in the coaching venacular as the "shield" punt formation.   

So bottom line ... the shield formation has been proven statistically better.  So ...ok  -  with our athletic players, why haven't we changed ?   Seems like an upgrade to me.

Go Blue!

Gulogulo37

September 11th, 2013 at 2:54 AM ^

Not sure how you have 1500 points here and aren't aware of this. Brian talks about this all the time. We don't know why, the coaches won't really say. I believe Brian had Heiko explicitly ask this. He figures it's just what they had learned back in the day and they're being stubborn.

Brhino

September 10th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

Our first punt against Notre Dame, they doubled up our gunners and blocked them all the way down the field, and had a huge amount of space for their return.  That probably influenced the next punt, which was the horrible shank - I imagine the coaches told Wile to kick away from the returner.

I was thinking about this today, and I'm hoping someone can jog my memory.  I remember a game in the Carr era where we suddenly went with the spread formation rugby punt.  It was pretty unusual at the time, not like today.  I want to say it was against Iowa or Minnesota maybe.  The first time we did it it was nearly blocked.  The next time it was even closer to being blocked.  And then finally they did block one.  Does anyone remember that?  I was screaming at the TV to go back to the standard punt formation, and I wonder if it hasn't influenced our decision to stay away from such punting since.

jbibiza

September 10th, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

The Rugby punters always use a shield type of formation, then they take a few steps to one side or the other and try to punt to an open area.  When we tried it at Iowa it was a very new idea and a shock to most of us watching.  The special teams coach who thought it up was let go after that and Carr went back to the old way.  At that point it was hard to imagine that the Rugby punt would become so effective and widely used... that coach was ahead of his time.

RR and Mesko used the rugby style effectively.  Brian has been on about us punting in a primitive style since Hoke took over.

jbibiza

September 10th, 2013 at 5:12 PM ^

The Rugby punters always use a shield type of formation, then they take a few steps to one side or the other and try to punt to an open area.  When we tried it at Iowa it was a very new idea and a shock to most of us watching.  The special teams coach who thought it up was let go after that and Carr went back to the old way.  At that point it was hard to imagine that the Rugby punt would become so effective and widely used... that coach was ahead of his time.

RR and Mesko used the rugby style effectively.  Brian has been justly critical about us going back to a primitive/out-dated  punting style since Hoke took over.

kia

September 10th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

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Ali G Bomaye

September 10th, 2013 at 3:54 PM ^

I watch a lot of college football, and in the first couple weeks this year I've seen more "shield" punts blocked than in the last few years combined.  Teams are figuring out how to get around it (like Dymonte's block against CMU) or get through it (I can't remember which game - maybe Florida-Miami - but one team sent two linebacker-types to attack two of the shield blockers and split them apart, and sent a fast guy behind them to shoot the gap).  I'm still a fan of the shield punt because it limits returns, but it's looking riskier and riskier.

maddogcody

September 11th, 2013 at 7:50 AM ^

If you are releasing guys downfield before the punt is away, then they aren't back there blocking for your punter.

No matter how your guys line up (old school or new school), they need to block until they hear the thump from the punters foot and then stay in their lanes down the field to make the tackle. Don't do that... you are asking for it.