Zoltan/punting vs Utah

Submitted by formerlyanonymous on September 1st, 2008 at 1:37 PM

I haven't really seen any comments about the punting game yet.  Zoltan had two delay of game penalties and one kick that I couldn't tell if it was meant to be a fake read/rugby or what.  The Sheridan punt was pretty strange as well.  Any particular thoughts on any of these?

Also, did anyone else notice the distinct focus on punt blocking but no support for the returner?  I haven't been able to go back to look at the game yet, but it appeared we weren't sending too many guys back to block for our returner.  It seemed they always had a gunner in their face before they had a chance to catch the ball.  I'm not sure if I'm sold on the always going for the block on the kicker.  While its great when it happens, it doesn't happen that often.  Call it playing safe or having no balls, but having the ability to return for a substantial gain just seems a better bet.



September 1st, 2008 at 2:28 PM ^

From the stadium, I saw only 1 delay of game penalty on Zoltan, and I'm pretty sure that the rugby punt was an option punt, where Zoltan would go for the 1st down if he thought he could get it. 


September 1st, 2008 at 3:13 PM ^

but i could be mistaken.  first one i thought came in the second quarter on the defensive 40.   second one happened in the 3rd from within the 10 yard line (zoltan was backed up in the endzone).  i just finished downloading the torrent, so i'm going back through shortly.


September 1st, 2008 at 6:28 PM ^

I think it had more to do with the fact that the coaching staff knew that the best chance to pull that game out was to go all out for a punt block.  There was little hope based on what we saw that the offense was going to be able to drive 80-90 yards for one last score.


September 1st, 2008 at 6:52 PM ^

we tried to block both punts, I can't remember where they both were or the situation.  I agreed with the last one though.  the one before, i'd need to go back and look at.

like i said, i can understand that philosphy, but if thats the case, perhaps we call some more fair catches?  the last thing i want to see is warren getting knocked out of a game/multiple games.  he averaged 0 yards on 2 returns because he was leveled as soon as he touched them. 


September 1st, 2008 at 6:54 PM ^

A couple things-

Zoltan Mesko is a douchebag. He comes out early before the game and jokes around with the students, Space Emporer (Lol!!) and everyone thinks hes great, but he's really not a good punter at all. His best punt MIGHT have been 40 yards. He's mediocre at best, and the act is really getting old.

When was the last time Michigan blocked a punt? 1982? I was happy we finally went after a couple punts--Warren needs to learn how to fair catch the ball. I just think their punter was great angling the kick and the hang time was ridiculous. I tip my hat to their punter vs. poor return coverage from us.

Ditto on the kickoff returns although I thought on a couple of them it would have been better to bring them out and see if we could have gotton a decent return rather than kneeling it. Harrison had a couple nice returns though but then they took him out for Stonum.


September 1st, 2008 at 9:49 PM ^

Harrison was injured at some point in the game which is probably why they replaced him on KOR.

I thought our special teams were excellent on Saturday. Kick coverage teams were great. Moundros made a hell of a play on the punt block. KC nailed a 50-yarder. I doubted he had true range above 40, but he cleared that shot with ease. He was serviceable last year, but now he looks like a legit scoring weapon.


September 2nd, 2008 at 2:33 AM ^

After the 2003 Iowa punt formation disaster, I'm going to have a difficult time getting used to us using that formation regularly.  The option punt concept should get shelved.  We need to win the battle of hidden yardage any way we can.  And letting Mesko take a normal approach and let it rip will probably improve his punt average by at least 5 yards over the soccer style running kick.  And the likelihood of a block will probably drop.

I will admit, that if we prove that there is some benefit to the formation, I will change my opinion.