Russell talked special teams earlier this week.
Q: Why the switch at placekicker?
Russell: You have to compete for your job every week. Erik Powell missed two field goals versus Nevada, and he had two games to show what he could do. Now, the team can give Quentin Breshears a shot, and the job can still change hands if he performs poorly. Both are good kickers, but they need to understand that they can't miss.
The kicking competition is open every week, and they know that.
Will Erik Powell handle kickoff duties?
Russell: He is doing a good job at that, and he still has an opportunity to earn the field goal kicking duties again. The field goal kicking job is Breshears' for now, and it is his to hold onto.
What's your evaluation of Breshears as a kicker?
Russell: He has game experience at Fresno State, and he kicked last year at junior college. He has been through the rigors of a season and the expectations of a game. He doesn't have the strong leg like Powell does, so that impacts his range, but he is an overall mature and confident guy.
Were the holds without River Cracraft okay against Nevada?
Russell: It hasn't been fun playing "musical holders". The holding wasn't really the issue, though.
Are you happy with the kickoff coverages?
Russell: It has been solid on both kickoffs and punts. There have been fundamental mistakes but overall it has been good. We need to continue developing a good mentality there and understand how important field position is.
Breshears has Cougs’ PK job, unless …
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