Special Teams

SnohomishRed

Offensive Coordinator
Jan 31, 2005
8,498
2,371
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Snohomish
Special team numbers/rankings for 2015 and to date 2016


2015 2016
  • blocked kicks #43 0
  • blocked kicks allowed #57 #116
  • blocked punts #28 0
  • Blocked punts allowed #1(0) #116(3)
  • KO rtn defense #21 #60
  • KO rtns #116 #9
  • net punting #45 #128
  • punt rtn defense #104 #112
  • punt rtns #33 #37
Is this guy worth his pay and if so what does Read bring to the table that helps this program and team win. Not to pick on him but the results are pretty bad
 
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TwinsRRUs

Graduate Assistant
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2011
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SW NE
Virginia Tech always seemed to be the best in the country for many years with Frank Beamer.

Makes me wonder if their special teams were coached by multiple coaches or by a single coach.

Maybe Bruce Read needs to study those Virginia Tech teams to figure out what made them so consistently good for so long.
 
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jlb321

Recruiting Coordinator
Aug 8, 2014
6,959
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Virginia Tech always seemed to be the best in the country for many years with Frank Beamer.

Makes me wonder if their special teams were coached by multiple coaches or by a single coach.

Maybe Bruce Read needs to study those Virginia Tech teams to figure out what made them so consistently good for so long.

Frank Beamer, himself, was the special teams coach ....
 
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Riley_the_Crutch

College Football Hall of Fame
Oct 16, 2002
22,063
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Off the Banker beat? Tell me, how much should he make, and break down the financials of the athletic department for us. Make sure to figure in the footwork he puts in identifying the majority of recruits.
We get it, you want this staff to fail. Your next positive post will be your first. But I am sure "you want them to succeed" and "don't hate them".
 

TwinsRRUs

Graduate Assistant
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2011
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Maybe he can come out of retirement and help out Bruce Reed for us :)

They have been talking about being able to have another assistant next year...
 

GretnaShawn

Graduate Assistant
Sep 28, 2010
5,595
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I think Bruce Reed does a lot more than special teams. While I agree that special teams needs to be improved greatly, maybe we shouldn't just judge him on that.
 

TruHusker

Offensive Coordinator
Sep 21, 2001
8,663
3,072
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I understand not judging him on "just" special teams but holy cow Batman, how can you ignore completely the results of his most important duty on the field. They aren't just a little worse either. There are some good athletes on ST but the results are not there. Something is broken or do we "just" ignore that too?
 

Cornicator

Nebraska Legend
Gold Member
Feb 27, 2009
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Nebraska is 13th Nationally in total Special Teams Efficiency. They are very good with the exception of punt team, and that's due to Lightbourn.

The constant hand wringing over Read is overblown. Lightbourn is seriously doing things that are dumbfounding even the coaches. If Sam Foltz was around, Nebraska would be dominant in the punt game.
 

Truehuskerfan

Athletic Director
May 1, 2003
15,262
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Nebraska is 13th Nationally in total Special Teams Efficiency. They are very good with the exception of punt team, and that's due to Lightbourn.

The constant hand wringing over Read is overblown. Lightbourn is seriously doing things that are dumbfounding even the coaches. If Sam Foltz was around, Nebraska would be dominant in the punt game.
Let's recognize too that Lightbourn hasn't been bad every game. He was good this week and he was very good against Oregon. Really, he's about what you would probably expect from a true freshman who didn't expect to be playing this year.
 
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SC_'sker

Recruiting Coordinator
Mar 4, 2013
6,075
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Nebraska is 13th Nationally in total Special Teams Efficiency. They are very good with the exception of punt team, and that's due to Lightbourn.

The constant hand wringing over Read is overblown. Lightbourn is seriously doing things that are dumbfounding even the coaches. If Sam Foltz was around, Nebraska would be dominant in the punt game.
PR is atrocious. We might as well have Panico back there since we decide not to block.
 

iROOT4nu

Senior
Jul 10, 2009
2,140
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My biggest issue is punt returns. But as long as we arnt turning them over, I'm satisfied.
 

PeliniTheCrutch

First Team All-Big Ten
Jul 4, 2016
3,858
4,977
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Nebraska is 37th Nationally in punt returns. Another ridiculous fallacy invented by our fan base.
Probably not as ridiculous as one might think. I'm guessing most fans inventing the fallacy want more returns, while the stat you are quoting is average/return I assume.
 

Riley_the_Crutch

College Football Hall of Fame
Oct 16, 2002
22,063
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It was better last year without DPE how about punt run defense or the blocked kicks this year. It's pretty obvious our ST have benn subpar
We have had kicks blocked? And I seem to remember shutting down a couple punt fakes. Not sure what you mean by "punt run defense". If you could put things in actual football terms, people would probably take your outrage about coaching at least a little without laughing.
 

kaz36

Administrator
Moderator
May 2, 2005
28,044
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I believe you will see more returns going forward. DPE is gaining confidence.
I agree. DPE struggled catching the ball pretty bad in fall camp from what I was told. If he gets some confidence, watch out.

As far as Read, he doesn't just coach special teams. He is one of the main talent evaluators on the staff. A lot of offers go through either him or Devaney. What he is paid really shouldn't mean anything. If Riley thinks he isn't cutting it as ST coach, they will probably put him an admin job within the recruiting department. I believe that in the next year or so that they are looking at possibly letting teams add another coach to the staff. Not sure what that means for Read or even Tavira Thompson.
 

huskerfan1414

Graduate Assistant
Oct 25, 2014
5,539
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I just wish we didn't overthink the punt game. Line up in a tight set and punt the damn thing. If there's no gaps and guessing no one will miss a block, which according to Riley is what's happening. As I stated in another thread Riley's post game leads me to believe he might be issuing some orders.
 

bigboxes

College Football Hall of Fame
Sep 4, 2004
22,808
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Arlington, TX
Off the Banker beat? Tell me, how much should he make, and break down the financials of the athletic department for us. Make sure to figure in the footwork he puts in identifying the majority of recruits.
We get it, you want this staff to fail. Your next positive post will be your first. But I am sure "you want them to succeed" and "don't hate them".
Yeah, Snomish has made pains to mention "want them to succeed" and "don't hate them" in every one of his negative posts this year. With that he can point to him trying to remain positive. The only positive about him is the fact that he doesn't like the staff.
 

TwinsRRUs

Graduate Assistant
Gold Member
Oct 1, 2011
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It was better last year without DPE how about punt run defense or the blocked kicks this year. It's pretty obvious our ST have benn subpar
We have had kicks blocked? And I seem to remember shutting down a couple punt fakes. Not sure what you mean by "punt run defense". If you could put things in actual football terms, people would probably take your outrage about coaching at least a little without laughing.
Punt return average is about half a yard worse than last year is all. Not sure on the number of punts actually caught and returned vs last year. We seem to lack in the number of returns attempted I think. Could be wrong, but not that big of a difference. Maybe fewer big returns this year?

The opponent seems to have 3-5 players down to tackle our return man before he catches the ball. Very little blocking or slowing of the speed guys coming down the field during the punt. Looks bad, but not sure if other teams are much different as I haven't been able to watch many games this year.

Haven't there been 3 nearly/partially blocked punts already this year?
 

stixon

All-American
Feb 26, 2002
4,634
23
38
Probably not as ridiculous as one might think. I'm guessing most fans inventing the fallacy want more returns, while the stat you are quoting is average/return I assume.
Are we allowed to block the other team in order to return a punt? It sure doesn't appear to be the case... Saturday our guys were just running with them as they came downfield. Never even attempted to jam/block them at the line of scrimmage.
 
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hddude55

Defensive Coordinator
Jan 14, 2002
7,609
1,258
113
Arizona
We all suspected punting would be an issue but dead last out of 128 teams is worse than I had anticipated, especially with a recruited , scholarship punter.
 

Truehuskerfan

Athletic Director
May 1, 2003
15,262
3,422
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We all suspected punting would be an issue but dead last out of 128 teams is worse than I had anticipated, especially with a recruited , scholarship punter.
You do realize that this is net punting-i.e. punt yardage minus return yardage. That means it has as much to do with how we defend punt returns than it does the punting itself. Your comment is blaming Caleb Lightbourn for all of it, and that's not what the stat is. Lightbourn is 85th in punting average, certainly not that good, but far from the worst.
 

little a

Junior
Jul 4, 2001
1,860
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I think Bruce Reed does a lot more than special teams. While I agree that special teams needs to be improved greatly, maybe we shouldn't just judge him on that.
That's his title- special teams coach...... ok- won't judge Cavanaugh when offensive line falters.
 

SnohomishRed

Offensive Coordinator
Jan 31, 2005
8,498
2,371
113
Snohomish
Yeah, Snomish has made pains to mention "want them to succeed" and "don't hate them" in every one of his negative posts this year. With that he can point to him trying to remain positive. The only positive about him is the fact that he doesn't like the staff.
Not true I simply do not like some of the staff. This whole thing of not accepting any critic of the coaches stinks of insecurity to me. Oh it's fine to blast a player or two but god forbid if we talk about how our special teams play has been bad
 

SnohomishRed

Offensive Coordinator
Jan 31, 2005
8,498
2,371
113
Snohomish
We have had kicks blocked? And I seem to remember shutting down a couple punt fakes. Not sure what you mean by "punt run defense". If you could put things in actual football terms, people would probably take your outrage about coaching at least a little without laughing.
fixed it for you pumpkin so you can understand it
 

jedihusker

Senior
Aug 17, 2003
2,673
684
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Special team numbers/rankings for 2015 and to date 2016


2015 2016
  • blocked kicks #43 0
  • blocked kicks allowed #57 #116
  • blocked punts #28 0
  • Blocked punts allowed #1(0) #116(3)
  • KO rtn defense #21 #60
  • KO rtns #116 #9
  • net punting #45 #128
  • punt rtn defense #104 #112
  • punt rtns #33 #37
Is this guy worth his pay and if so what does Read bring to the table that helps this program and team win. Not to pick on him but the results are pretty bad
Statistics can sometimes be misleading, and especially special teams stats, because they depend so much on other aspects of the game.

Take the blocked punts and kicks for instance. Nebraska hasn't blocked any kicks, so they don't even rank in either category. When it comes to blocked punts, only 45 teams have even blocked at least one punt (46 if you count Coastal Carolina who is reclassifying to FBS and therefore doesn't count in rankings). Of those 46, only 10 have blocked more than one, and they are all tied for 1st with 2. Some of that is based on opportunity. By my count, Nebraska's opponents have punted 36 times. Michigan, who is tied for 1st with 2 blocked punts, has had their opponents punt 58 times, meaning they have had 22 more opportunities.

Going to blocked kicks, which includes both punts and place kicks, the number of teams jumps to 83 (including reclassifying Coastal Carolina) meaning of the 129 (again, including CC), there are still 46 teams that have not blocked anything. And again, some of this comes down to opportunity. Michigan ranks tied for 2nd in this category, with 4 total blocks (2 punt blocks and 2 kick blocks). 3 of those 4 blocks came in the same game, against Central Florida, including both field goal blocks. Both blocked field goals were 50 yard attempts, and longer field goal attempts are easier to block. The longest field goal attempted against Nebraska is 46 yards.

It's been discussed above, but I would pretty much throw out the ranking in the blocked punts and kicks allowed category. No place kicks have been blocked, so the 3 blocks all come from punts. We have a true freshman punter, who was essentially thrust into a role he didn't think he was going to have at the last minute. I would also point out the 3rd "blocked punt" is kind of ridiculous, it was a rugby style punt that grazed a player's helmet, and still traveled 28 yards in a situation where you're going to be trying to punt short anyway.

Kickoff return defense is one that can be very misleading. 60th is not terrible, but it isn't great, but look a little closer. Nebraska is 7th in the conference, Penn State is 1st and ranked 22nd overall. Nebraska averages giving up 20.5 yds per return, Penn State averages 18.15 ypr. So the difference between 60th and a top 25 kickoff return defense is a little over 2 yard average, and there are 5 other conference teams scattered in that very small gap. Not only that, but a total of 5 teams that supposedly have better kickoff defense, at least based on rankings, have given of kickoff return touchdowns, which Nebraska has not. I would also point out that Nebraska's average is less than what you get for a touchback, so when teams do return, they are averaging getting less than what they would with a touchback.

Kickoff returns look pretty good, so there's nothing really to say about that.

Then there's Net Punting and Punt Return Defense. First of all, both of these statistics are a little skewed because the blocked punts count in there. Take those out, and those statistics improve. Also, if you take out the first two games, those statistics also jump up, meaning there has been improvement. Like above, a lot of this comes down to a true freshman, inexperienced punter, who was thrust into a role he didn't think he was going to have. Certainly there needs to be improvement, and there has been, but there are other factors at work.
 

Riley_the_Crutch

College Football Hall of Fame
Oct 16, 2002
22,063
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Punt return average is about half a yard worse than last year is all. Not sure on the number of punts actually caught and returned vs last year. We seem to lack in the number of returns attempted I think. Could be wrong, but not that big of a difference. Maybe fewer big returns this year?

The opponent seems to have 3-5 players down to tackle our return man before he catches the ball. Very little blocking or slowing of the speed guys coming down the field during the punt. Looks bad, but not sure if other teams are much different as I haven't been able to watch many games this year.

Haven't there been 3 nearly/partially blocked punts already this year?
Punts yes, kicks no.
 

NikkiSixx

Graduate Assistant
Sep 14, 2013
5,576
3,708
113
Just so it is easier for everyone to see, this was taken from the NCAA Statistics thread:

NET PUNTING
1. Utah - 45.26 ypk
2. Bowling Green - 44.49
3. Ohio State - 44.41
4. Arizona State - 43.91
5. Eastern Michigan - 42.78
6. Louisiana-Lafayette - 42.41
7. Southern Mississippi - 42.29
8. Florida - 42.14
9. South Alabama - 42.11
10. Missouri - 42.10
119. Wisconsin - 33.28
128. Nebraska - 30.79


PUNT RETURNS
1. Syracuse - 19.55 ypr
2. Alabama - 18.85
3. Michigan - 18.56
4. Western Kentucky - 17.75
5. Florida State - 17.22
6. Appalachian State - 16.88
7. USC - 15.73
8. TCU - 15.07
9. Georgia Tech - 15.00
10. Texas A&M - 14.43
37. Nebraska - 9.91
76. Wisconsin - 6.90
128. Georgia State - (-1.00)

PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
1. Auburn - (-1.50) ypr
2. North Carolina - 0.17
3. Houston - 0.33
4. South Alabama - 1.09
5. Baylor - 1.25
6. Vanderbilt - 1.42
7. Washington - 1.80
8. Louisville - 2.00
9. Ohio - 2.07
10. Tulane - 2.08
98. Wisconsin - 9.90
112. Nebraska - 13.00

128. Florida State - 24.67

KICKOFF RETURNS
1. Air Force - 32.89 ypr
2. Pittsburgh - 31.41
3. Troy - 28.88
4. Boston College - 28.33
5. Northwestern - 28.12
6. Vanderbilt - 28.00
7. Iowa - 27.84
8. Memphis - 27.67
9. Nebraska - 27.23
10. Kansas State - 27.16
74. Wisconsin - 20.58
128. Bowling Green - 15.52

KICKOFF RETURN DEFENSE
1. Memphis - 14.86 ypr
2. Clemson - 15.44
3. San Jose State - 15.50
4. Bowling Green - 15.83
5. Boston College - 16.31
6. Arkansas State - 16.33
7. Troy - 16.39
8. Texas-San Antonio - 16.64
9. Old Dominion - 16.72
10. Oklahoma State - 16.82
34. Wisconsin - 18.73
60. Nebraska - 20.50

128. Air Force - 30.40
 

GretnaShawn

Graduate Assistant
Sep 28, 2010
5,595
5,096
113
That's his title- special teams coach...... ok- won't judge Cavanaugh when offensive line falters.
I get that and I am less than enthusiastic about facets of the special teams play. But from what I have heard, he does a lot for MR outside of special teams.

Maybe that means he needs to be moved into a administrative position? I'm not sure. But he doesn't just coordinate special teams.
 

Riley_the_Crutch

College Football Hall of Fame
Oct 16, 2002
22,063
5,676
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This thread is awesome. This NEBRASKA coach that you are ragging on wears many different hats, and busts his butt on the recruiting trail. And on this very same site, not many posts away.... people are defending an ex-coach who did not even recruit off-campus, and was shuffled in and out of various positions that he vastly underperformed in. THIS is exactly why some people think that just because someone used to play here means they shouldn't just be given any coaching position they want, their merit be damned.
 
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ridge22

Junior
Oct 19, 2004
1,633
444
83
Nebraska is 13th Nationally in total Special Teams Efficiency. They are very good with the exception of punt team, and that's due to Lightbourn.

The constant hand wringing over Read is overblown. Lightbourn is seriously doing things that are dumbfounding even the coaches. If Sam Foltz was around, Nebraska would be dominant in the punt game.
Where did you find the Special Teams Efficiency Stat? I didn't see anything like that in the NCAA Stats.

I have been a critic of Read since the hiring and the amount of his salary was announced. To me it blew me away to pay a coach that coaches a few plays a game that much. I realize he does more, but so do other coaches. In comparing stats I went back and looked at the two prior seasons to Riley to compare numbers. Here are the numbers and you can decide if they juice is worth the squeeze of pay a ST Coordinator that much.

Stat 2016 2015 2014 2013
Net Punting 30.79 #128 38.28 #21 37.27 #70 37.93 #38
Punt Ret. Def 13.00 #112 11.50 # 104 8.94 #90 8.07 #67
Blocked Punt Allowed 3 #127 0 Tied #1 0 Tied #1 0 Tied #1
Blocked Punts 0 NR 1 Tied #28 4 Tied #1 2 Tied #18
Punt Return 9.91 #37 10.36 #42 15.90 #4 3.04 #121
KO Return 27.23 #9 18.20 #116 20.79 #63 22.78 #40
KO Return Defense 20.50 #60 18.89 #21 21.15 #65 20.21 #40

The # is the national rank. Also if anyone has a way to put tables in a post let me know because I know this may be tough to read.
 

bigboxes

College Football Hall of Fame
Sep 4, 2004
22,808
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Arlington, TX
Where did you find the Special Teams Efficiency Stat? I didn't see anything like that in the NCAA Stats.

I have been a critic of Read since the hiring and the amount of his salary was announced. To me it blew me away to pay a coach that coaches a few plays a game that much. I realize he does more, but so do other coaches. In comparing stats I went back and looked at the two prior seasons to Riley to compare numbers. Here are the numbers and you can decide if they juice is worth the squeeze of pay a ST Coordinator that much.

Stat 2016 2015 2014 2013
Net Punting 30.79 #128 38.28 #21 37.27 #70 37.93 #38
Punt Ret. Def 13.00 #112 11.50 # 104 8.94 #90 8.07 #67
Blocked Punt Allowed 3 #127 0 Tied #1 0 Tied #1 0 Tied #1
Blocked Punts 0 NR 1 Tied #28 4 Tied #1 2 Tied #18
Punt Return 9.91 #37 10.36 #42 15.90 #4 3.04 #121
KO Return 27.23 #9 18.20 #116 20.79 #63 22.78 #40
KO Return Defense 20.50 #60 18.89 #21 21.15 #65 20.21 #40

The # is the national rank. Also if anyone has a way to put tables in a post let me know because I know this may be tough to read.
I'm not sold on Read, but these stats can be easily skewed. In our punt game we lost one of the best and accurate punters in the nation in Foltz. Combine that with a patchwork OL and you have what you have. Not making excuses. Just pointing out reality. Not many blocked punts are given up. So, when you get a handful you are at the bottom of the rankings. Give up 0 and you are tied with a lot of programs.

 

Riley_the_Crutch

College Football Hall of Fame
Oct 16, 2002
22,063
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Also telling that Banderas has been on special teams for 2 games.... and leads them in tackles for the season. Like it or not our depth is still scary thin. Hard to dominate special teams with limited talent.
 

DezBigNutz

Junior
Gold Member
Apr 10, 2007
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Omaha
Maybe another fact to consider is how many of the teams in front of NU special teams stats are paying for a special teams coach? Am thinking most are not...
 

ridge22

Junior
Oct 19, 2004
1,633
444
83
I'm not sold on Read, but these stats can be easily skewed. In our punt game we lost one of the best and accurate punters in the nation in Foltz. Combine that with a patchwork OL and you have what you have. Not making excuses. Just pointing out reality. Not many blocked punts are given up. So, when you get a handful you are at the bottom of the rankings. Give up 0 and you are tied with a lot of programs.

Thanks for putting these in a table for me. How were you able to put that in there?

I just wanted to put the numbers out there. I didn't really think the 2013 and 2014 numbers were that much better or if they even are at all in the big picture. I am just saying I don't know he is worth the coin for comparable numbers.