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Pigskin Picture: When Special Teams Aren’t Special

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Hire a damn special teams coordinator.

Arkansas v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Arkansas went into the Auburn game 93rd in special teams S&P+. The numbers haven’t updated for this week, but it’s safe to say that number is going to drop like a rock. Arkansas’ loss to Auburn was as one sided as it was almost entirely due to the calamitous special teams unit. According to Adam’s box score breakdown, the often forgotten part of the game cost the Hogs over 10 points directly, not including any factors of momentum or fatigue from the defense.

“Man that sounds horrible, we should probably get rid of our special teams coordinator.”

Funny thing there. Chad Morris is the second head coach in a row at Arkansas to think he doesn’t need a special teams coordinator. Like Bielema, that has been proven so very very wrong.

Let’s just take a look at the adventures we’ve had this season on special teams.

Vs. Eastern Illinois

No glaring issues except for some really rough punts. There was a punt of 35, 23, 44, 20, and 25 yards. That’s an average of 29.4 yards per punt.

At least we made our field goals in this one.

Vs. Colorado State

We did not make our field goals in this one. After making our first two Connor Limpert missed the third, which the holder failed to get the laces out on (something a special teams coach would probably be a big help with), proved to be a major turning point in the momentum of this game.

We also had Jared Cornelius misjudge a couple punts so bad he got benched. Deon Stewart came in and had a nice return, by far the best special teams play of the season.

And the punting average increased up to 38.2 yards per punt, which seems okay until you realize the Rams had 56.8 yards per punt.

Vs. North Texas

THIS HAPPENED

YOU THINK A SPECIAL TEAMS COACH MIGHT HAVE HELPED WITH THIS ONE?

Also Arkansas averaged just 34 yards per punt and missed a 38 yard field goal. They also had to burn a timeout ON A KICKOFF because they weren’t lined up correctly.

Vs. Auburn

Oh boy, where to begin? Here’s everything that happened last night on special teams to Auburn.

  • Kickoff return touchdown
  • 48-yard punt return
  • 36-yard punt return
  • Blocked punt
  • 22-yard punt that was nearly blocked
  • Missed field goal

If only you could hire a coach who’s main responsibility was the quality of the special teams. Making sure they’re learning the finer points of the part of the game that can cause wildly violent momentum swings and help teams who are at a disadvantage in talent pull an upset.

What’s that? You CAN do that?

Well why the hell haven’t we done that?