FSU football special teams have been sub-par compared to talent level the past couple of years. Will 2017 be any different?
If you’re a long-time reader of Chop Chat you already know the deal when it comes to FSU football special teams.
We don’t sugarcoat it because they have severely under-performed and have made things difficult for FSU on offense and defense.
According to ESPN’s David Hale, special teams could again be the “achilles heel” in 2017:
"There’s plenty of potential here, to be sure. FSU has enough talent on its roster to field coverage units far bigger, faster and stronger than anyone in the ACC. It’s just that, in 2016, that talent didn’t translate to results. The Seminoles finished dead last in the league in net punting and punt-return average. They lose their top kick returner and punt returner.Their kicker, Ricky Aguayo, had his moments, but he was hardly the deadly accurate machine his older brother proved to be. All of this is fixable, of course, but the point is that, for a team poised to make a run at a national title, it’d be nice to feel a little more comfortable with the special teams than FSU fans currently should."
This is the absolute truth until it gets rectified. Now, FSU did have true freshmen at field goal kicker and punter in 2016, and we feared that special teams would suffer because of that.
However, the punt return game has been so terrible that losing top punt returner Jesus “Bobo” Wilson won’t matter much. It wasn’t so much the punt return as it was the special teams blocking on punt return.
FSU has been no real threat to score on special teams, much less change field position. The Orange Bowl against Michigan was a prime example of how special teams hinder the FSU offense and defense.
FSU definitely needs to improve in this phase of the game if they wish to make a legitimate run at their fourth National Title in 2017.