Thursday, February 02, 2006

(Not Completely Unlike) Upon Further Review: Orange Bowl Special Teams

Fixed. Thanks to Brian for informing me about Blogger's retarded "line break=br tag" idiocy.

Special Teams/Returns
FSUFSU3612:584th and 26punt/29FC0-0
Scirrotto (-) makes a terrible block on FSU#83, forcing a fair catch at PSU 35
FSUFSU338:084th and 14punt/5640-0
Punt to the PSU 11. Lowry advances to the 15. Scirotto (-) is completely outrun by FSU gunner (#22), and then makes a poor attempt at a block.
FSUFSU403:524th and 8punt/53-37-0
Punt to the 7. Lowry (--) has to backpedal from the 17, leading to the block in the back by Sales. Lowry cuts to the outside when he has two blockers and two men to beat on the outside. Terrible runback. Should've been lined up deeper (he was lined up for a 35-40 yard punt) and bad vision.
FSUFSU461:384th and 16punt/33FC7-0
Punt to the 21. Lowry has to run up from the 10, and fair catches. Understandable considering the previous kick was to the 10.
FSUFSU209:424th and 19punt/36FC7-0
Punt, fair caught by Lowry (-) at the 44. Lowry had a lane to his right. Shouldn't've fair caught.
Kickoff to the FSU1. #88 (?) Darling (-) completely whiffs a block, forcing King to pick it up, and preventing him from blocking FSU#83, who makes the tackle at the PSU12
FSUFSU50:234th and 8punt/55FC7-13
Punt to FSU40. Lowry was lined up ~FSU45. Fair caught.
Kick to the 5. Kilmer (-) gets burned by a spin move, and Kinlaw is brought down at the 20.
FSUFSU4612:554th and 5punt/46DOWN14-13
Punt to the 21. Bounces to the PSU8, Lowry (-) lets it go. Bad choice - he wasn't that close to the end zone.
FSUPSU478:554th and 7punt/34DOWN14-13
Punt to the PSU18, left. Lowry is lined up right and has no chance to do anything on it. Bounces to the PSU13.
FSUPSU345:154th and 5punt/33DOWN14-13
Lowry lined up at the 10 (!?) and someone lets the left gunner by them completely (giving up at the 15?!) allowing him to catch it at the 1.
Free kick to the FSU49, bounces to the PSU43, where Hahn almost makes a play for it. King picks it up at the PSU35 and cuts to the FSU46. Hall (-) pointlessly block to the left, but King avoids the tackle anyway. Hahn (+) makes a nice block to gain a few more yards. Double personal fouls offsetting after a shouting match.
Special Teams/Coverage
PSUPSU4010:364th and 5punt/51290-0
Punt to the FSU9. Gunners forced away from the play. E.Z. Smith (-) has nowhere near enough speed to cut FSU#26 down before being brought down at the 38
Kickoff to the FSU3. Runback to FSU 38. Norwood (-) reads the wrong person as kickoff returner and takes a terrible angle, allowing a cutback to the right. Lowry saves the play by seeing the open lane and immediately taking the angle to the sideline.
PSUFSU4712:164th and 27punt/33FC7-0
Punt (-) to the 14, fair caught. Good job in coverage, but punt was short.
PSUPSU438:094th and 11punt40187-0
Punt to FSU17. Gunners forced away from the play. E.Z. Smith (-) takes a poor angle, missing the tackle. Downed at FSU35.
PSUPSU364:314th and 18punt/5086, TD7-7
Punt to FSU14. Gunner takes the wrong angle, but the real killer here is one FSU defender blocking Hahn, Lee (-), and E.Z. Smith. Of course, he does this via a block in the back to Hahn, which frees him to block E.Z. Smith just as the defender cuts by him. No official was really in a position to see it, unfortunately. Kapinos (-) takes a horrible angle.
PSUPSU133:104th and 9punt/4637-7
Punt (-) to PSU46, bounce to FSU41. Kilmer makes a nice open field tackle, but the bouncing punt is the reason for the lack of advance. Returner falls forward to FSU43.
PSUPSU430:524th and 8punt/40OB7-13
Punt (+) to FSU 3. Out of bounds.
PSUKO/59end of half14-13
Kick to the 6. Zemaitis takes a correct angle and forces him to the outside and OB. No bad grades because of end of half.
PSUPSU1114:024th and 19punt/48DOWN14-13
Punt to the FSU48, bounces to the FSU41. No, the ball didn't touch the FSU defender, not that it mattered as FSU would've recovered anyway. Downed by PSU. Good job by Johnson (+), Kilmer (+) blowing by their blockers (finally).
PSUPSU1510:404th and 3punt/451014-13
Punt to the FSU40. Gunners are blocked and stumble. Lee (+) makes a good open field tackle at the 50.
PSUPSU197:014th and 4punt/432214-13
Punt to FSU38. Gunner misses the initial hit, and T. Shaw (-) takes a poor angle. Hahn might get a minus here except there might be a block in the back on him. Poz, Kilmer make tackle at PSU40.
PSUPSU43:384th and 7punt/38-1014-13
Punt to the PSU39, bounces to the PSU42. T. Shaw (-) slips trying to correct a bad angle. Block in the back (called) prevents Hahn from making the tackle.
PSUFSU460:044th and 6punt/39DOWN14-13
Nice punt (+) to the FSU7. Downed by PSU.

That Lowry guy

Sigh. What to write. Lowry had been bad as a punt returner all year, and we know that. Thankfully, I can say convincingly that a lot of the problems in this game with returns were due to shockingly bad decisions by Lowry. And to Lowry's defense, I have to say that FSU's punting was incredibly erratic, making gauging distances difficult. But lining up at the 10 when the offense is on the PSU34 is just silly, and when the blocking actually worked, Lowry cut the wrong direction. I don't know if where Lowry needs to line up is his own choice, or the coach's. If it's the coach's, then we need a special teams coach. Badly.

King showed very good running on the free kick return. I can't fault Kinlaw, as his only return chances were thwarted by crappy blocking. Still, King also didn't have wonderful blocking on his only return, and he showed a bit more dexterity in dodging tacklers. King should get a shot as a punt returner - the only concern there is catching the ball, though.

We still really need a special teams coach, though. Giving up on staying with the gunner is completely unforgivable - on one play, if they had stayed with him just five more yards, it's conceivable he wouldn't've been able to down the ball at the 1.

Coverage teams

Crap. I have to talk about these? Shoot. This is the harder part. Kilmer was a special teams maven all season, and did a great job as a gunner bringing down the returner. Uh. Not so much today. Which is unfortunate, as he's leaving, and the rest of the coverage group doesn't appear to be that good. Shaw took a poor angle twice, which gave up a 22 yard return, and would've given up another long one if the refs hadn't seen Hahn's block in the back.

Was Kilmer struggling because he was being used so much on offense? That'd make sense to me, but I really hope Penn State can find a gunner who won't be forced out so easily next year. Norwood/Johnson were both pretty much completely ineffective, either being blocked away from the play, choosing the wrong guy, or whiffing completely on the initial hit.

The punt return for a TD was a disaster, as you can see above. There was no initial block in the back to the gunner (can't read number) who took the wrong angle. But it does look like Hahn was blocked in the back, and fell into Lee, which freed up the defender to take out Smith. That kinda cleared things up for the punt returner.


Scirotto: -2
Lowry: -4?!
Darling: -1
Kilmer: 0
Hahn: 2
Hall: 0
Smith: -2
Norwood: -1
Lee: 0
Kapinos: -1
Johnson: 1
Shaw: -2


Okay, so Kelly can't kick under pressure yet. Got it. Comprende. Message received. Again. Kickoff length was fine. Kapinos's punts were in the mid-40s all day, but the gunners can't handle that much length. He's got to learn to adjust to them better. Anything over high 30s, low 40s gave the gunners trouble.

Offense up maybe tomorrow, maybe not till next week. Defense up after that. Sorry to keep everyone waiting. I do promise that there'll be some useful information about next year's roster there.


Blogger Brian said...

to fix the table:

the problem is that blogger inserts [br] tags wherever it finds a return. Remove all returns in your nicely formatted table to fix the problem. Yes, this is a pain in the ass.

You have my endorsement to remove the "Not completely unlike" if you so desire. I hope the idea spreads far and wide. Excellent work.

12:17 PM

Blogger Pat said...

Oooh. Blogger is gonna get the smackdown, it is. Grr.

12:45 PM

Blogger PSUMike said...

Our special teams have been horrible the past few years. We are badly in need of a ST coach. Lowry was the worst punt returner I have ever seen at PSU. Fortunately he did an ok job of holding on to the ball this year, but in years past he was good for a fumble every other game.

And is it me or does it seem like our kickoff return teams run in slow motion?

12:15 PM

Blogger Pat said...

And is it me or does it seem like our kickoff return teams run in slow motion?

Ha ha, yah. They're... not that quick. The punt return coverage problems in the OB are most likely because Kilmer was the only useful gunner this year, and he was tired this game. After the gunners, you're back to the same slow guys who handle kickoffs (it is *hilarious* watching E.Z. Smith try to take down a punt returner).

I'm hoping that Terrell Golden and Mark Rubin both get a good amount of playing time on special teams. They're fast, and unlike Norwood/Williams/King, they're also large enough to not get freaking shoved around by everyone.

That's why Kilmer did well - he's 6'0", 205, and on the other side you've got Norwood, who's 45 pounds lighter. Norwood's just super quick and a great route runner - he'll never make it in the NFL (way too small) but he'll be fantastic in college. But I have no idea why he was on special teams. Note that King was on ST often too, but he's still 20 pounds lighter than Kilmer. Just not big enough.

9:39 AM


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