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Post Film study: kick coverage

Friday November 14, 2008

Paul did a good job with a look at the special teams earlier in the week. He correctly observes that…

At this point, it’s not where the kick lands that’s driving me nuts. It’s the actual coverage. Georgia’s kickoff coverage unit looks nothing like you see in Florida, LSU or Bama.

Forget Florida, LSU, or Bama. Let’s look at Kentucky. I noticed this during the game and had to go back to the tape to make sure. These are two kickoffs from Saturday’s game; one a Georgia return and one a Kentucky return. See if you notice the difference.

Kentucky return

UGA return

Both kicks were reasonably deep; Kentucky’s landed about five yards closer to the goal line. On Kentucky’s return, the returner is already approaching the 20 yard line as Georgia’s coverage is getting to the 30. If the returner doesn’t run into his blocker, he gets to the 30 before he is even touched.

Then look at Georgia’s return. Samuel is barely at the 7 yard line when the Kentucky coverage is approaching the 20. First contact is around the 18, and Samuel to his credit works for about 5 more yards.

If you think this might just be a one-time deal, let’s look at the opening kickoff of the second half. Once again, Georgia’s first coverage guys don’t even make it to the 25. The returner has at least 5 more yards before he’s challenged, and he actually ends up around the 34.

UK return

3 Responses to 'Film study: kick coverage'

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  • […] in turn, begat a post of Groo’s about kickoff coverage that’s well worth your […]

  • Great illustration. I showed my son the same thing on Tivo Saturday. After watching Miami last night, I can only hope our coaches will rethink the whole thing. Those guys were FLYING down the field. It seems like we have 10 OL’s and a kicker covering when you look at the photos above.

  • While it’s definitely frustrating to see other teams’ special teams absolutely dominating ours in terms of overall speed and performance, perhaps we haven’t noticed how much some seemingly innocuous injuries have really been the culprit behind the Dawgs’ sub-par special teams play. Missing players like Quintin Banks, Charles White and now Dewberry are all obviously hurting our special teams play. Keep in mind, every time an offensive or defensive starter goes down, and his backup goes to replace him, he is pretty much lost on special teams. It’s quite the vicious cycle. I wonder what the special teams would look like with less injuries across the board. However, the frustrating thing is it seems like the Florida’s and Bama’s of the world have some of their best and fastest players on special teams as well. I don’t think they’re that much deeper than we are that they can afford to not have their starters get tired..