Special teams

Submitted by hat on October 18th, 2008 at 8:47 PM

Maybe the biggest thing I'm disappointed about this season is that our STs, as a whole (Zoltan aside), do not seem improved at all from Carr's.  We've been noticeably worse than OSU and PSU (and even MSU) in recent years in this area.  They seem to get at least one KOR TD and one PR TD a season, cover pretty well, and block an occasional kick/punt.  We've scored exactly one TD on a KOR since 1995, and have had great difficulty getting beyond the 30 (the Rose Bowl against Texas notwithstanding).  We also tend not to have any kind of a functional punt return unit when Steve Breaston isn't our returner, and we were unable to block a single punt in Carr's last 4-5 seasons.   

We finally did block a punt against Utah and I hoped that that would be a sign of things to come, but aside from that one play, we look as sloppy and ineffective on punt returns and kickoffs (both ways) as we did under the previous regime.  Someone suggested earlier that RR hasn't been able to spend as much time as he'd like on STs because the offense has needed so much attention.  I hope that's true because right now, outside of our excellent punting, we're really failing to capitalize on this part of the game.  STs basically were the reason our 2001 team stayed bowl eligible (we blocked a crazy number of punts that year) despite having a hideous offense.  It's too bad we can't duplicate that now.   

Comments

Brewers Yost

October 18th, 2008 at 9:30 PM ^

I mentioned this briefly in another post but it would be nice to figure out who will be returning KO's. We have a new return man every game. Maybe even more importantly is that the blocking has stunk.

BleedingBlue

October 18th, 2008 at 9:53 PM ^

Lloyd Carr wanted the new fieldhouse forever so they could get better at special teams.  The sucky special teams is the main reason they are building the new indoor practice facility.  Can't practice kicks inside Osterban because the ceiling is too low.

I expect our special teams to be infinitely better next season after getting a whole winter/spring to practice them in the new fieldhouse.

Also we have Fera coming next year...wooo on that

PattyMax64

October 19th, 2008 at 1:33 AM ^

I think the key for us right now is to focus on the Offense and Defense, we can afford to wait on the special teams until we are competent on the first two.  With a solid understanding of the essentials, excellence on special teams can follow.