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September 15, 2016

Special Teams: Room for Improvement

Some quantification to our struggles:

name conference ko punt fg ko_ret punt_ret fg_D       total
Georgia SEC                 -4 -0.6 -1.3     0.2      -0.9         -0.2        -6.7

So the theory goes that there is a way to quantify the number of points gained or lost for each individual play involving a special teams action (kick off, punt, FG).  It isn't hard to see that Georgia is not doing great, ranking well into the 100s with their -6.7 total points per game on special teams.

You would expect to lose the most points on kickoffs and punts, because that is where you are also giving the ball back to your opponent and anything short of stopping the every return at the opponent's one foot line has some negative points associated with it. Of course, giving up a return for a touchdown is the highest number of negative points you can accrue on kicks and punts. Only Georgia State has a worse point total on kickoffs. FWIW, that should change over time if we don't allow any more kickoff returns for touchdowns.

What is a bit more illustrative is losing points on FGs. That is both from missing FGs and kicking FGs from places where stats show you should go for it instead of kicking a FG. It becomes roughly a net negative if you kick a FG on any drive when you have a first down inside the 30 yard line. 

All five FG attempts for Ham have been on drives where Georgia had a first down at or inside the opponents' 30 yard line, including two from inside the 20. 

None of this means anything other than right now, we should never kicking FGs. I don't that happening.

Imagine if we didn't have a dedicated special teams coach.


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