I don't think it really matters who the returner is if we aren't going to hold up the gunners and the guys on the front line any better than we do. I know things have changed, but the old rule of thumb for a return was to hold up the gunners or at least delay their release and harass them all the way down the field. The interior guys should be engaged/held up and guided to which ever side of the field to create a lane for the returner. One or two players have to engage the up-backs and ensure that there will be a punt as quickly as possible. It is also imperative that the ball be fielded. We didn't execute the hold-ups and diversions very well at all. I do recall one game that we came close to blocking a couple of punts; otherwise, our primary purpose seemed to be simply to get the ball back wherever we could field it. PR can be a game changer if emphasized as such.
Best Posts in Thread: Let’s talk Special Teams
It's like we don't try to block punts OR return punts. When its 4th and long and your return game is as bad as ours is, shouldn't we be sending the house when there's little to no chance of a fake? As bad as our return game was this year you would think we would have at least tried to block a few punts every game.
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NCAA Rule 9 – Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules – Ruletool
ARTICLE 16. Roughing or Running into Kicker or Holder
When it is obvious that a scrimmage kick will be made, no opponent shall run into or rough the kicker or the holder of a place kick... The kicker’s protection under this rule ends:... when he carries the ball outside the tackle box (Rule 2-34) before kicking.