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
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 cfbstats.com) 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.