Analysis: Special Teams Improvement Vital

The defensive-associated play for Oklahoma State's special teams is outstanding to good. Ofa Hautau nearly blocked another kick last night and had he not tripped on his way he would have. That group is outstanding. The coverage units on punts and kickoffs are young and need to improve and get better, but that is moving along well.

The specialists contributions are more good to fair and occasionally below average.

Ben Grogan was a perfect three-for-three on field goals Saturday night. Yes, he hit the ricochet off the upright on the 47-yarder (his longest at OSU) but that is okay. Gundy joked with his staff that longtime OSU assistant Bill Shimek used to say a kicker wasn't really good unless he knew how to use all the goal post. Grogan did and is now 8-for-11 on the season.

The snaps have been perfect with Kaleb Smith handling PAT/field goals and Josh Elias handing punts. Elias even has an assisted tackle in coverage.

I'm a big fan of Kip Smith, and his kickoffs have been fine. But he needs to stay consistent with his punts. His longer punts are flat and are very returnable. His shanks are disastrous and he has had one in each of the last two games. The defense bailed him out Saturday night on a return and a shank. Those situation can get you beat in conference and did help West Virginia upset the Cowboys last season. The 38- and 42-yard punts with hang time are outstanding.

Tyreek Hill had difficulty with kickoff returns because the kickoffs were deep, if not out of the end zone, and the UTSA punter was outstanding.

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