For the first two weeks of the season Florida State's special teams units have been a mixed bag with more bad than good. Punter Cason Beatty has really struggled so far punting the ball 7 times with an average of just 39.9 yards per punt. Only one of his punts have landed inside the 20, and the line drive punts that he has booted the last two games have put the punt coverage team in precarious positions.
The punt return team has had their own problems over the first two games. In the first game the punt returners muffed two punts before third string returner Bobo Wilson was able to hang on to one and earned the starting job. This week Wilson held on to every ball, but the unit had multiple penalties including a targeting penalty that led to the ejection of senior captain Lamarcus Brutus.
These two units drew the ire of Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher during his post game press conference after the USF game.
"We had too many penalties early and we didn't punt the ball, again, like we needed to," Fisher said.
Fisher was pleased with the kickoff return unit, and, after last season, he should be. The kick return team has returned five kickoffs an average of 36.6 yards. That's 8 yards per return more than Florida State had in 2013 when they led the nation. It also includes a 0 yard return by up man Freddie Stevenson.
"Very proud of the kickoff return team," Fisher said. "I thought the key to the second half was the opening kickoff in the second half to set the tone, give us great field position. Kermit had a big-time run there. We've worked hard on that. It really set the tone for the second half went in and scored a touchdown and then we scored, like I said, every time we had the ball."
Florida State will need to get these issues in check because it cost the Seminoles quite a bit in field position. The Bulls average starting position was their own 32.3 yardline where the Seminoles average starting position was their own 25. Coach Fisher may not have another option besides Beatty, but the punt return units issues are fixable. Special teams coordinator Jay Graham will have his hands full trying to fix those issues with the quick turnaround at Boston College on Friday.