If History Is Any Indication, Special Teams Will Be Factor in Bedlam

Originally published at: https://pistolsfiringblog.com/if-history-is-any-indication-special-teams-will-be-factor-in-bedlam/

Recent history suggests special teams will play a major role Saturday.

I remember that stupid fake FG from 2013 more than I do the Saunders punt return. Good grief.

Special teams will be a factor. Special teams is what will cause us to lose. We will kick field goals in the red zone while OU scores touchdowns. Because that’s our new offensive identity.

We could be facing 30 mile per hour winds and rain. Gundy would still try to kick a 40 yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 1.

If he doesn’t want to stay up at night worrying about special teams, then maybe he should hire a special teams coach that knows what he’s doing.

That’s called “playing to win”. Stoops knew OSU was the better team that year and took some chances.

Don’t listen to Boone for your weather info. He’s completely wrong. Go and check any and every weather app you want. None of them have 30 mph winds or rain storms in their forecast throughout the game. I have 5 weather apps, and one of the 5 has a 10% chance of rain at 9pm. The other 4 have a 0% chance until at least 10, and all 5 of them list the wind at 9mph throughout the evening tomorrow.

Five weather apps seems like overkill.

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Good point. I do a lot of traveling.:joy:

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All he’s trying to do is get the best information he can from five different sources and come to a conclusion. Nothing wrong with that at all.

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I agree with you that underdogs should take more chances. Gundy has not always been great at that in Bedlam. Specifically, 2016 and 2019 come to mind. But to give credit where it is due, he did go for the jugular (unsuccessfully) in 2017 and 2019. There are a ton of reasons why we can’t beat OU, only some of which Gundy can control, but I do not think a lack of flea flickers or fake punts is anywhere near the top of the list.

When is the last time Stoner tried to run back a kick or punt? When is the last time they faked a punt that worked or least looked like they had practiced?

I am actually okay with our approach on punt returns, mostly because I do not think Stoner is a very dangerous return man. If we had a Dez Bryant or Tyreek Hill on the team, I would expect fewer fair catches. To Gundy’s credit, he does go for and block a high number of punts.

I think you are right that we do not fake punts very often. I sure do not remember many. However, that is something that, at most, should be tried twice a season. If your biggest gripe with Gundy is that he doesn’t fake enough punts or run enough trick plays in big games, I don’t think you know Gundy that well.

In terms of his in-game strategy, I do not have a huge problem with Gundy. He is far from perfect, but even guys like Saban make dumb decisions and do things that frustrate the fans.

In other words you are fine with losing every big game.

Absolutely not, and like you, I am fine with letting Gundy hit the road due to his inability to win big games. I just disagree with you on why we keep losing these big games. If beating OU was as simple as running more trick plays, I am sure someone would have figured that out by now.

Give me the coach who can sign talent and develop toughness and discipline over the coach with a bag full of gimmicks any day.

The discussion is on special teams, besides trying to run a kick back and a trick play, what else can they change? I feel like the kicking and punting over the last 5 years has been good. Punting last year wasn’t great but wasn’t the reason we lost.

How about Presley returning punts and kicks?

I would focus on shoring up the kick/punt coverage and playing mistake free everywhere else. Maybe the opportunity will arise to throw in some kind of fake, but I do not see the absence of a fake as evidence of bad coaching. Many inferior teams have beaten UO without the benefit of a special teams fake.

As to punt returns, I would be okay with trying Presley if he can reliably field punts like Stoner does. The move toward more fair catches, is not unique to OSU. It is a trend across college football. Since 2005, the share of punts that have been fair caught has risen from 13% to 34%. I do not know why teams have decided to take this approach, but I am sure there is a good reason for it.