Special Teams is 1/3 of the Game!

Submitted by swdude12 on September 18th, 2010 at 4:44 PM

The kicking game is just not even servicable.   The punter cant even catch the snap let alone just punt the ball.  that gave Umass a touchdown.  The missed FG that is 3 pts. So far we are -10pts in special teams.  Just Imagine if we didnt recover that  fumble on failed attempt on the bouncing punt by gallon... that could have led to 17pts just off of special team screw ups.  These kickers are scholarship players?  The kick offs are barely make it to the 5 yard line.  This is a major aspect of the gm and it needs to be fixed quick especially if the game actually comes down to a FG.  Cant they recruit people from the soccer team? i dont get it. This is Michigan why cant we get good kickers? I also think the Gallon experiement as Punt returner should be done also. what are your guys thoughts??? 


A Case of Blue

September 18th, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

No, HS rankings don't mean anything.  But he's also only in his third game as a true freshman.  (Hint: it might have been nice for him to have a year training at a high level and learning from a senior punter before he started punting for M, but that's not how this particular cookie crumbled.)

Anyone who's seen him play can tell you he can boom it.  Everything else is skills, and he'll get better as he goes.


September 18th, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

...aren't that bad.  To the five is pretty standard for college and when we don't squib it, it usaully makes it about that far.  And Hagerup was obviously one of the top kickers in HS and I watched him at halftime warm-ups and he booms it when not under pressure.  He'll get better.

As for field goals.  Yah that's absolutly as bad as I've ever seen at this level.  Hold open tryouts or something.


September 18th, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

Without looking at stats (I was at game)...starting field position on kickoffs had to be over the 30 yard line on average.. I do remember us "holding them" to 26 yard line on what I thought was a "better" kickoff to the 5.... but obviously not enough hang time for coverage unit to get down field...


Big, Big problem against better teams folks..  unless this is fixed.. we are screwed.


September 18th, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

I can't agree more, they need to work on this over the next 2 weeks, come big ten season we can't afford to miss a single point, not an xp, not a fg not a punt or a punt return... I agree, but don't know what the solution is other than having an older smarter guy for returns and maybe use hagrup for kicks... Who knows... God save us

M_Born M_Believer

September 18th, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

Hagerup just needs to relax.  He has been a bundle of nerves.  The place kickers on the other hand is simply alarming.  So much of it has to do with the mental aspect.  One of these kids (yes I can all them kids) needs to get mentally tough enough and just stop over thinking things.  The same can be said about Gallon.  He is thinking way to much out there and just not making plays. 

Given what we have seen so far, we will lose a game directly because of the special teams unless there is drastic improvement....soon.

This is what you get with a 7-5 team (FYI, this has been my prediction for this year) 


September 18th, 2010 at 5:58 PM ^

Hagerup has mis-handled one ball and has one shank on his result this year.  He is a true freshman and I don't see a problem.  Kickers are better off now that we've moved off absolute waste Gibbons.  I keep thinking he just needs to switch to right footed, because he has been a two year waste of scholarship.  Hopefully, Schwietzen or however you spell it, will get better as we go.  In regards to the return games, I keep waiting for all our speed to pay off.  First it was fumbling the ball and now it seems we never give our returners any space or blocking.  Today was definitely a bucket of cold water to the hype monster on defense especially and the special teams is not a positive that can lessen that pain.


September 18th, 2010 at 6:05 PM ^

FG kicking will probably improve if for no other reason than it can't be this bad forever.  That said, I still expect it to cost this team a win or two.  

The kickoffs are a little troubling, but maybe you just have Hagerup do them - he was a pretty good kicker in HS.  He'll probably calm down on punts, and once he does he'll start booming them again.  The part that kills me are the mistakes on kick and punt returns - there were a couple of times when a fair catch or paying attention to the ball would have saved the team 10-15 yards.


September 18th, 2010 at 6:52 PM ^

If anybody reading this thread is a current student with eligibility remaining who has played a sport with shinguards, please stop blogging and talk to RR. Kthx


September 18th, 2010 at 6:56 PM ^

Are they required to work out?  Mesko looked legitimately athletic.  Gibbons looks like a left footed version of Garrett Rivas ... short and stout like a teacup.

Would find it hilarious to see an "everyday" montage of Gibbons if Barwis decided to make Gibbons his #1 project for a year.

Also, I hope RR makes these guys punt/kick a ball at least 100 times every day for the rest of the year, if he's not doing so already.


September 18th, 2010 at 8:08 PM ^

The kickers look like they have strong legs; they just have problems consistently kicking/punting the ball straight (see the punts against ND that actually did go straight, see the FGs against ND as they had plenty of distance).  That's more correctable than not physically being able to kick the ball far.

It appears that whatever they are doing during practicie isn't enough.  All I was saying was that they should, like, you know, do more! 

When somebody isn't performing because their conditioning is lacking, is it not OK to say "I hope this person takes his workouts more seriously, if he isn't doing so right now"?  Or is that a "brilliant idea"?

It's Great To Be A Michigan Wolverine.


September 18th, 2010 at 7:17 PM ^

Do we have a coaching issue or a talent issue, neither or both?  Does the fact that we are so thin on D contribute to less talent on the special teams.  When I played in high school and college. the younger player cut their teeth on special teams and showed their speed stregnth and courage especially those who wanted to play showed up to play there and get noticed. 


September 18th, 2010 at 7:22 PM ^

the mistakes on special teams this year have been by either true Freshmen or RS Freshmen.


Find me another team in college football whose entire special teams encompasing K's, P's and Punt returners are all 1st year players.


September 18th, 2010 at 7:41 PM ^

My girlriend goes to Penn (I-AA) and so I'm being forced to watch them play Lafeyette on ESPN3.  They just nailed a 44 yard field goal with ease.  This begs the larger question: how does a school with our resources who could have this Penn kid, or the UMass kicker or almost anyone we want not end up with compitent kicking.


September 18th, 2010 at 8:29 PM ^

Brendan Gibbons was a high school All-American.  He almost certainly had a better HS career than the Penn kid.  As for why he struggled the first two weeks (he didn't kick today), I don't know, but he's only a freshman.


September 18th, 2010 at 7:47 PM ^



“If there’s any student that’s out there, is enrolled at the University of Michigan in good academic standing, is a good guy, can kick field goals, can kick the ball in the end zone,” Rodriguez said, drawing chuckles, “we’ll have another tryout for you.”


“Our kickoffs aren’t good,” Rodriguez said. “The disappointing part is that they do a great job in practice. But it’s different when you get on the field. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”


September 18th, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

What kind of a teammate tweets "kickers wanted" in the middle of a game?  I'm sure he was just tying to be light-hearted but don't publically make fun of the kickers who are out there working their asses off for the team.

Nantucket Blue

September 18th, 2010 at 8:29 PM ^

To ask at what point we (RR) yank Gallon.  By my counts he has fumbled two? punts outright, and misfielded a few others.  Yes, he is a freshman, and he is supposedly a burner.  But I would assume that at some point a slower and safer returner who can cleanly field punts might be a better option. 

That's the rational part of my argument.  The rest of me is fucking pissed that we can't kick field goals, punt well, or return punts.  I've never missed two kickers more (Epstein, Zoltan), or realized how much I underappreciated Breaston.  


September 18th, 2010 at 9:33 PM ^

Will Hagerup 10 punts with an average of 39.6 yards. his average today was 1 punt for 33 yards, i guess they dont include the block. Not what you expect from a D 1 punter. I really hope he gets fired up and starts bootin the shit out of the ball!