At least their hearts are in the right place.

It’s good to know that the short kickoff hasn’t been a calculated play in Georgia’s arsenal.

It’s not really a matter of strategy: Morgan said the goal nearly every time is to get a touchback, it’s just easier said than done.

“That’s obviously the goal,” Morgan said, his voice cracking into a laugh. But he did add: “I’m definitely gonna try to focus more on distance.”

Head coach Mark Richt was also asked about kickoffs on his Monday night call-in show. Richt reiterated that the goal was to get touchbacks, but also cited reasons it wasn’t automatic, whether it be foot strength or wind. Richt also added that punter Collin Barber, who handled kickoffs the first two weeks, would be ready if he was needed – implying that Morgan’s kickoffs better get through the end zone more consistently.

Short leash, Coach.  As Emerson points out, Odell Beckham doesn’t exactly suck at returning kicks.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

15 responses to “At least their hearts are in the right place.

  1. I’m not sure how UGA doesn’t have a recruited scholarship kicker on the roster that can continuously kick it into the end zone on kickoffs. Baffling..

    • Yes. And I’m not buying that directional kicking is dead necessarily as a “strategy” either. We recruit good kickers. Sometimes as far away as California (or Poland as Richt refers to it…*snark*), and they get worse the longer they’re on campus.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Glancing through the I-A stats from last year, Georgia was about average, perhaps slightly above, at touchback percentage in 2012 with the same kicker. They had a 40% touchback rate. In comparison among league peers, Florida’s was 45%. LSU’s was 34%. A&M’s was 63%! Auburn’s was 69%, though on only 48 kickoffs. Given that they had to kick off 12 times last year at the start of one of the halves, that means they only kicked off after a score 36 times in 12 games. That’s putrid. Alabama’s was 46%. South Carolina’s was 47%. I guess my point is that Georgia isn’t really much worse at getting touchbacks than anyone else. The difference between Georgia’s and Florida’s percentages is an additional 4 or 5 touchebacks by Georgia.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Amend anyone else to read “most teams”. There are clearly a few teams who have guys who manage a rate of 60% or better.

  2. TennesseeDawg

    All it takes is Morgan to shank one kickoff and Beckham is gone. I’d go with Barber right from the start.

  3. Go Spurrier on ’em. Into or out of the end zone or the other guy kicks it.

  4. Russ

    If only we had a hall of fame kicker alumni in the area that could afford to volunteer a little time mentoring our kickers…..

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I thought he was…or was that just when his boy was in school?

      • Russ

        Not to my knowledge. I don’t see why he can’t be another Hartman. I don’t think Walsh would’ve had his problems with Butler (or even Rex Robinson) advising him.

  5. ChicagoDawg

    “Richt also added that punter Collin Barber, who handled kickoffs the first two weeks, would be ready if he was needed” — I think we are at the place where it is “needed.”

  6. Remember those guys from France. They were little, but man could they nail it!

  7. IveyLeaguer

    [“Short leash, Coach.”]

    A VERY short leash. Like Tennessee and others, I’d probably go with Barber right from the start. Morgan would have to have one heckuva week kicking off in practice to get the start.

    And I know many disagree, but I’m not all that happy with Swann returning punts, either.