In the beginning, there was Westerdawg’s post about the special teams.
That, in turn, begat a post of Groo’s about kickoff coverage that’s well worth your attention.
I don’t know if any of you watched the Miami game last night. I did. One thing that jumped out at me was the Hurricanes’ kickoff coverage. The kicker wasn’t especially good – he didn’t kick it any deeper than Blair Walsh does on average and he didn’t seem to get as much height on the ball, either – but Miami’s coverage was smothering, as in 54 total return yards on five kicks. The longest return the ‘Canes gave up was 15 yards.
And this was against Virginia “We Do Special Teams Right” Tech.
What was Miami’s secret? Speed, baby. Its coverage team is loaded with a bunch of little guys who are burners. Guys were getting down to cover so fast that, if they weren’t making the tackle, they were at least clogging the return lanes quickly enough to make it easy for the second wave of coverage to wrap up the return.
And I’ve got to tell you as a Georgia fan, it was palpably different from what we’re used to seeing. I had watched a replay of the Kentucky game the day before and was used to the pace of the Dawgs’ kickoff coverage. As I sat there last night, I was literally startled by Miami’s speed on the coverage of its first kickoff.
So let me add my voice to the chorus here: more speed, please.