If you were frustrated by Rodrigo Blankenship’s lack of dominance on kickoffs last year, Seth Emerson points out that he was merely continuing in a long line of mediocre to poor performance by Georgia freshmen kickers in that regard.
Blankenship’s kickoffs weren’t all that different when compared to some other past freshmen at Georgia. Blankenship averaged 62.2 yards, and was 36.4 percent on touchbacks. Marshall Morgan averaged 63.2 yards and had touchbacks on 36.8 percent as a freshman. Blair Walsh — who kicked off when the kickoff was at the 30-yard line, thus his touchbacks were much less — had 5 percent touchbacks, with an average distance of 60.0. Brandon Coutu, who like Walsh kicked from the 30-yard line, averaged 29 percent touchbacks, with an average distance of 60.5.
Ah, consistency. Although fairness requires me to offer some defense of the honor and ability of Walsh, who was victimized by a special teams position coach who was obsessed with the concept of directional kicking, to Walsh’s detriment.
Would only someone be equally obsessed with touchbacks. Sigh.