Touchbacks take off.

Good piece at Football Study Hall on the effects of the new kickoff rules last season.  I don’t think anyone will be surprised at the results in this chart:

Year Pre-Rule Change
Post-Rule Change
Touchback % 15.2% 34.8%

What is a little surprising to me, considering my feelings about Malcolm Mitchell’s aggressiveness returning kickoffs last season, are Georgia’s touchback percentage numbers (via over that same period.

  • 2010:  10.71%
  • 2011:  10.53%
  • 2012:  35.00%

That’s an even bigger swing than the national average.  And with an offense that was as prolific as Georgia’s was, it makes good tactical sense.  Barring a run of weak-legged kickers, I wouldn’t expect much of a change this year.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

4 responses to “Touchbacks take off.

  1. Macallanlover

    I like the rule. Based on games I saw, taking the touchback would be mandatory for my teams on kicks into the endzone. Minority of runbacks got past the 25 and there is no risk of a turnover, and minimal amount of injuries. Now if we could just get rid of that ridiculous “block in the back” rule (above the waist of course) the kicking game could take another leap forward.


  2. I’d originally thought that the change would take away from one of the most exciting and potentially game changing parts of a football game. Well…it did but it also gave we the fans the opportunity to see our offense put up even more yards so I guess it was a tradeoff. Now, I just have to hope or offense stays this good every year. 3 and outs were becoming a problem. I’d like to see some numbers for 3 and out/3rd Down conversions for, say, ’09-’11 vs ’12/’13.

    Btw, I don’t buy that the change is only about safety. If safety was paramount it wouldn’t be a full contact sport. Besides….the FB/MLB exchange on running plays has more potential for injury(serious….head, neck) than probably any other play. Maybe they should ban the lead blocking FB.


  3. NRBQ

    Gurley 100yd KO return FTW.


  4. Sanford222View

    Any word who on the KOR Team looked best at tackling Mitchell when he tried to bring it out of the endzone?

    Man, that kid makes me nervous with his decision making back there. Stand on the damn goal line and if you have to step backwards to field the kick take a knee!