By Paul Sykes
Think about it.Â Fans usually groan when we have to punt, hope our guy doesn’t fumble a punt, yawn through an extra point and argue about going for it on fourth down. We love the long breakaway runs when we create them, and shudder when the opponent does them.
Last season, remember, the University of Louisville football team created a lot of anticipation when special teams took the field. Not much of it borne from confidence.
Chris Philpott will likely handle the kickoff duties and placekicking in the game opener. The sophomore had less than a stellar season in 2008 but reports from practice indicate his leg is stronger. He’s also reaching the end zone on kickoffs with a little more regularity. Not much surveillance on his field goal accuracy, however.
How is coverage on the returner on punts? Are we reaching the end zone with consistency on kickoffs? Is the punt return team getting pressure on the punter?
Cory Goettsche, a senior punter, got off several boomers last year but needs to work on his coffin corner placement. At least Cory has experience and has played in front of all kinds of fan bases and in all kinds of weather.
Four different players may return kickoffs and punts. Speed burner Trent Guy and Doug Beaumont for punts and Bilal Powell and Vic Anderson on kickoffs. Guy is deceptive and dangerous in either role, the others quick enough to make something happen if blocking schemes work.
Fans likely won’t learn much about the effectiveness of the special teams against Indiana State, but there will be things to watch. How is coverage on the returner on punts? Are we reaching the end zone with consistency on kickoffs? Is the punt return team getting pressure on the punter? Is anything outside the 25-yard line a viable option for a field goal on fourth down?
Make it happen guys. Position is everything.
*Â Â Â *Â Â Â *
Former Lady Card Kristin Mattox is one of six former athletes selected for U of L’s Hall of Fame. See Sonja’s commentary here.