Special Teams - NU's Weakness?

You can discuss the various perceived failures of the NU Football Coaches forever, but Steve has one thing that really bothers him...

Whatever you think about NU Coaching -- Steve Truog has one critique of the Head man:

...his apparent indifference to special teams and you have problems.

I've never understood why the current NU coaching staff neglects special teams with such consistency. We've had some bright spots this year with punter Brian Huffman, but that's mostly due to Huffman's work -- he's not getting much help from our punt unit (gunners routinely overrun or miss the tackle).

Same for our returns last year -- a lot of that was Jason Wright's ability, not scheme. And since our blocked kicks haven't reappeared, I'll take that to be more of an indictment of Miami's PAT/FG unit's blocking.

The carelessness is even more egregious when you look at how several teams have used special teams to vault into the national spotlight. Kansas State and Virginia Tech especially, but NC State, Air Force and other schools as well. And big-time programs like OU and Texas have also put a nice emphasis on special teams and it pays off huge.

This is 1/3 of the game and it's an area where improvement can come quickly and pay off in huge swings of momentum.

I like what we're doing with our defense this year and I'm willing to accept certain things that come with all that youth. The offense is hot and cold, but we're at least implementing schemes and plays to make us competitive.

But this lack of special teams attention has been something that hasn't gotten better over the years. Not having a FG kicker is just part of the problem, but as the year goes on and we're in a lot of games against teams we have a good chance to beat, that missing element will become more and more magnified.

Here's hoping we find someone with a leg out of the 7,500 or so on campus soon, because I know we have the ability to beat just about every team left on our schedule, and we're gonna need some clutch field goals.


Stephen J. Truog has his own NU oriented website
and a weekly Football Pool
 Visit SjTonline

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directly to Coach Roy

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