Some areas of Boise State's special teams have taken a hit in recent years, while others have gotten better. Such is college football, where it is tough to be top-notch in all areas all of the time.
State's Kyle Brotzman has been able to beat out
highly-heralded punter Brad Elkin and Brotzman has thus done double duty the
last three years.He converted on
18-of-25 field goal attempts last season with a 52-yarder against UtahState.Brotzman
is a better punter than placekicker, averaging 43.9 yards per kick with 15
inside the 20.He needs to trust his
blockers on punts and not rush to kick the ball rugby style.
Titus Young is one of the
best kickoff returners in the nation.Young
averaged 26.9 yards last year with two touchdowns, including one for 108 against
Idaho.Doug Martin is the perfect complement to Young and he averaged 29.7.Jerrell Gavins also faired well with 37.3 yards per return on three
The BoiseState coverage teams allowed just 19.1 yards on kickoffs
and 6.9 yards on punts.
I did with the Virginia Tech special teams, I took a game from last year and
analyzed BoiseState's special teams using the
criteria set forth by an Alabama fan and modified by me.This "checklist" was put
together by "Outsidethesidelines" on theAlabamafan
board to evaluate special teams. It
is fairly complete and well-done. I
took the liberty of adding a few of my own categories to the list.
location and positioning
of kickoff team to get downfield and surround the ball carrier
ability of kickoff team
kick recover ability (on both sides)
snapping on punts
of punter's release
location and positioning
for the punt returner
punt returner's actual return abilities with ball in hand
punt returner's ability to safely catch the punt
punt returner's decision making ability on when to call for a fair catch and
let the punt bounce, or when to take a kneel on a kick-off
snapping on field goals
holding by the holder
between the snapper, holder, and kicker
by the field goal protection unit
of the kicker to elevate the ball over the line to avoid a block
power of the kicker
accuracy of the kicker
goal blocking abilities
ability of the kickoff returner
to catch kick
running on the kickoff
ability of returner to break tackles
speed with the ball
faking and maneuverability of the ball carrier
ability in making correct decisions with regard to utilizing special teams
to successfully take wind and other playing conditions into account on all
to avoid special teams penalties (clipping, roughing, kicks out of bounds,
BoiseState opening kickoff—Brotzman
kicked the ball near the sideline on the eight yard-line with four seconds hang
time.By the time the TCU returner
got to the 15, there was one Bronco at the 20 and two more at the 25.When the return man got to the 20, five Broncos were in the area.The TCU player got through the initial contact but three other Broncos
brought him down on the 23.
punt—it was a beautiful punt with six seconds hang time.Kyle Wilson caught it at the BoiseState seven and his momentum
carried him back to the five.Bronco
players were running down the field and trying to keep up with the TCU gunners
but none of the three were blocked and Wilson was tackled at the 15.
BoiseState punt—Perfect snap.Only one TCU defender surged towards Brotzman and up-man J.C. Percy had
him blocked.The punt had four
seconds hang time and came down to the right of the right hash at the TCU 32.Five Broncos were in position but the returner gained 14 yards before
going out of bounds.
BoiseState kickoff, leading
7-0—Brotzman had 4.5 seconds hang time.The
kick was caught on the left hash at the three.TCU had a good wedge set up at the 15 but by the time the ball carrier
got there, three Broncos had broken through.The returner somehow knifed through them.Seven more Broncos were at the 20 and eventually Wilson and Jason Robinson nailed him at the 24.
punt—4 seconds hang time.Wilson caught at the Boise State 28.Two Broncos were trying to get back.Jerrell Gavins made a great block to free Wilson who made it to the 48
but a clipping penalty was called on Jeron Johnson.
BoiseState field goal attempt from the
left-hash at the 36—terrific blocking.The
snap was perfect, the hold was good, but the kick was wide right.
punt—Robinson fought through his block but was still two yards away when the
ball was kicked.The kick had four
seconds hang time and bounced 10 yards in front of Wilson.Five Horned Frogs ran unimpeded and Wilson had nowhere to go.
BoiseState punt—the snap was perfect
and great blocking.Brotzman got
five seconds hang time on this one that forced the returner to back up and catch
it near the sideline at the TCU 17.Two
Broncos were at the 20 to meet him.Cedric Febis dove but missed and Gavins fell down.Chris Roberson corralled the ball carrier at the 26.
punt of second quarter—there was no penetration at all from Broncos.The punter was able to get off a high kick with five seconds hang time to
the middle of the field at the 20.Two
Frogs were at the 25 and three more at the 30 when Wilson fielded the punt.There was no blocking and Wilson had nowhere to go.
BoiseState's second field goal
attempt—the snap was perfect, hold perfect, and the kick was perfect from 39
yards out (right hash).
BoiseState kickoff, leading 10-0--
Brotzman got a four-second hang time to the left hast at the TCU four.TCU had a good wedge set up at the 15.Doug Martin broke through it to make the tackle at the 20.
punt—the snap was a bit low.Febis
had some penetration from the right side but still two yards away from the
punter when the ball was kicked.The
punt had five seconds hang time to the BoiseState seven.Wilson let it go and the ball rolled
out at the four.
BoiseState punt—the snap was a little
high.Good blocking, especially by
Percy as he had his man well-blocked.Brotzman
got off a kick of four seconds to the left hash at the TCU 26.There were two Broncos at the 30 and another at the 35.TCU had good blocking, allowing the returner to go through all three.Seven Broncos awaited at the 35 and Chris Roberson tackled him at the 37.
kickoff, trailing 10-7—Five seconds hang time to the back of the end zone.Martin told Wilson to down it but Wilson kept going.Martin was consequently not in position to block since he didn't expect
it to be run out.Wilson was tackled at the 9.
second half kickoff—The kick had three seconds hang time, a low line drive
that bounced at the 10.Young picked
it up there.There were two TCU
defenders at the 25 and four more at the 30 but tons of BoiseState blockers.Michael Choate made a great block on the initial gunner.Wilson placed a tremendous block at
the 25; he totally had his guy engaged.Winterswyk
also made a tremendous block.Young
got to the 30 yard-line.
BoiseState punt—The Broncos punted
from the 39.It was a good snap, but
there was a fierce rush by TCU.A
TCU defender broke through between Percy and Hunter White and very nearly
blocked the kick, which bounced out of bounds at the TCU 23 for a 38-yard kick.
punt—The kick had four seconds hang time.Wilson called a fair catch and made
it at the 18.
goal from the 29—Tevis got good height, but the ball went over his head for a
kickoff with the score tied at 10—The kick had four seconds hang time to the
right hash at the four yard-line.Young
caught it there.There were three
blockers at the 15.Five Frogs were
at the 20 and two more at the 25.Travis Stanaway made a great block to spring Young to the 28.
BoiseState punt from their 35—It was a
very low snap.Brotzman kicked the
ball rugby style and the kick was very nearly blocked.He only got three seconds hang time and the ball hit at the TCU 25.It was downed at the 26.
from their own 28—No pressure at all.The
punter got off a beautiful kick with 5.5 seconds hang time.Wilson signaled a fair catch since
four Frogs were bearing down on him.
BoiseState fourth quarter punt from
47—One defender going up the middle broke through but was well blocked by
Percy.Brotzman got off a punt with
five seconds hang time.Martin and
Gavins were down covering for BoiseState.The punt was to the middle of the field at the TCU seven.Gavins tripped up the returner at the 12.
BoiseState punt from the 33—Nope.Instead, Kyle Efaw snuck over the line from the right side of the Bronco
line and Brotzman hit him with a pass.Efaw
took the ball to the TCU 43 for a gain of 24 yards.
BoiseState kickoff leading 17-10—It
was a kickoff with 4.5 seconds hang time to the left side at the TCU 3.The Horned Frogs had a good wedge set up once again at the 20.There were 10 Broncos between the 20 and 25 and the returner ran into the
wall at the 24.
from 29—Martin got great height from the left side of the Bronco line and
nearly blocked the punt.George Iloka was there as well.Wilson caught the ball going
backwards near the sideline at the 18.Gavins
made a great block at the sideline near the 30.Wilson was run out of bounds at the
BoiseState punt with left from the 34—A TCU
defender broke to the right of #48.Brotzman
kicked the ball rugby style and once again it was nearly blocked.He got four seconds hang time but the TCU returner caught it on the run
near the sideline at the 30 after a 36-yard kick.No Bronco was within eight yards at the time.Smith, Efaw and #25 all made diving attempts on the sideline but came up
empty.Another Bronco, #48 dove and
missed.The returner got to the 32,
where Brotzman and Aaron Tevis forced him out.
BoiseState punt from their 44—Good
penetration but Brotzman got the kick off with four seconds hang time.The ball bounced with Wilson and Martin both downfield to cover it.Wilson downed the punt at the 1.